Thursday, May 20, 2010
I love this poem from Alexandra Teague's new book Mortal Geography. The two parts of the poem are the exact same words, in the exact same order -- only the punctuation is different. But they tell wildly different stories about the narrator's feelings for her beloved. Apart from the technical skill (which is amazing), I admire how this poem says something about the thin line between love and hate, how it can turn on a pin.
Two Drafts Written After a Fight
by Alexandra Teague
Do I love you: yes or no?
The question: Is love a figure of speech?
I do - sometimes. Everyone wonders about our love; still,
there can be no doubt I have been true (almost always).
Happily remembering the start of our romance; it seemed
so promising ...
And is love continual happiness or not?
Is not what matters?
I cannot tell you who I want to spend my life with.
Enough about our love.
Do I love you? Yes or no - the question is, love,
a figure of speech. I do.
(Sometimes everyone wonders.)
About our love, still, there can be no doubt.
I have been true, almost always happily
remembering the start of our romance;
it seemed so promising, and is. Love,
continual happiness or not is not what matters.
I cannot tell you, who I want to spend my life with,
enough about our love.