“A poet’s first preoccupation has to be with love. Where ordinary men and women–I don’t mean ordinary in any pejorative sense, but rather in its Latin sense–can afford to submit their lives to chance and do, mostly, fairly well as far as these things go; poets on the other hand, probably from some temperamental urge to meddle, must attempt to draw up to consciousness love’s subtleties. Yeats’ poem ‘Adam’s Curse’ addresses what the noisy set, those whom the martyrs call the world, think of a poet’s curiosity, and still, he says, when things get difficult, for whom do they reach? If poetry seems irrelevant to many people, it is because either 1) it asks questions no one wants the answers to, or 2) it doesn’t provide the answers ordinary people need, when they need. My fear is that more often than not, the latter is the truer of these two causes.”
–from a discarded post called “On Love,” created 08/17/2013
Shannon and I are rereading Love in a Time of Cholera. The only time we have for doing this is when we take trips in the car, running here or there: to the grocery store, to the fair, home from the fair in the dark, when the children are asleep in their car-seats. She does the reading, and I like hearing her voice articulate the lives and loves of these characters, especially because, we think, that could’ve been us. We don’t think this in any overly romantic sense. We just know that not all loves are equal, and that our fates can get confused, thwarted, and so luck plays a greater part in our coming together than we like to admit. We are lucky, incredibly lucky, and every day is a chance to be reminded of that fact.
I cannot disavow what I don’t understand
Even if it slips right through my hands
A fish I caught in grade school quickens and
Is gone, is going still, is everything
I’ve loved and lost and paraphrased