Heartspeak: On Poetry

Nor moon, nor stars were out;
They did not dare to tread so soon about,
Though trembling, in the footsteps of the sun:
The light was neither night’s nor day’s, but one
Which, life-like, had a beauty in its doubt.
And silence’s impassioned breathings round
Seemed wandering into sound.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Recently, I’ve discovered the beautiful poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and that of her husband, Robert Browning. It is so interesting for me to read their poetry, and compare the similarities and differences between them. Personally, I like Elizabeth’s better, but that is mainly because the elegant emotion in her poetry speaks to me, in a way.

Poetry has always given me great joy and pleasure to read; the way the words are crafted in such odd and unique ways as to show the reader a beautiful picture has always fascinated me. Oftentimes, my library books consist of collections of old English poems or volumes of an individual poet. Currently, I’m reading Tennyson, and a rather hefty tome of poetry from the Victorian era; I already finished the collection of poems from the Brownings.

What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity, —
And heaven just prove that I and she
Ride, ride together, for ever ride?

– Robert Browning

I’ve written several poems, and in fact, poetry is one of the ways that I love to tell a story, to capture a moment in time. Words sound beautiful to me, and the emotion that can be evoked in a single sentence makes me love them all the more. Sometimes, I believe that in this world of texting, tweeting, and yes, even blogging, that the eloquence of words and speech has been lost. To me, how someone uses words tells me a lot about them, and all too often, the words I hear today are such poor facsimiles for the words they’ve replaced.

A feeling of sadness and longing, that is not akin to pain,
and resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Poetry speaks for me in the words that I wish I could say, and I suppose that is why I shall always treasure it, search for it, and love it. In parting, let me add just one more poem for you to enjoy:

They parted–ne’er to meet again!
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining!
They stood aloof, the scars remaining;
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder!
A dreary sea now flows between;
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once had been.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Do you like poetry? Have a favorite poet? I’m always looking for new poetry to read, so comment and tell me!

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