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Sunday, April 4, 2010

That's Amore, part two

Perhaps yesterday’s poem was a little too familiar, especially that first line: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” There are many other poems equally tender but less well known, more of a surprise.

Here’s an example, written by a husband to his wife.

This is what I most want
unpursued, alone
to reach beyond the light
that I am furthest from.

And for you to shine there –
no other happiness –
and learn, from starlight,
what its fire might suggest.

A star burns as a star,
light becomes light,
because our murmuring
strengthens us, and warms the night.

And I want to say to you
my little one, whispering,
I can only lift you toward the light
by means of this babbling.

~ Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938), Russian poet, to his wife, Nadezhda

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