Two love poems to ponder/enjoy

First poem:

“Astray or captured, all bear witness
to the consummate skill of this lady,
Shrewd at her craft and perfected by heaven.
Her hand has the feel of new-blown lotus,
Her breast the delicate scent of ripe berries
her arms twine like vine stems, and tangle,
And her face is a snare of fine-grained redwood.
And I? who am I in this recital? —
The proverbial goose
(and my love it lures me)
Tricked by her tasty bait
to this trap of my own ingenious imagining.”

Sounds like song of songs, right?
Except it’s not! It’s from Egypt 1,000 years earlier than
Song of Songs writing.

Second poem. A bit more recent love lyric. Not so much related to the Bible but
written by one of my all-time favorites Frank O’Hara. From 1960. Wanted to share it with you all.

Having a Coke With You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider
as carefully as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

04. March 2008 by Arrian
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