Guest poem submitted by Sudha Shastri:
(Poem #422) Sonnet XVII: Love
I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Translated by Stephen Mitchell An Italian sonnet (Petrarchan form), where the 14 lines are divided as 8 (octave) + 6 (sestet). Usually this form is characterised by a 'turn' in the thought after the octave, but here the divide seems to be rather differently achieved. Almost (?) ironical the way the octave elaborately labours the ways of loving ( reminds me of 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' ) and the sestet tersely dismisses the possibility of a successful description of the emotion. As for theme, well, it carries echoes and echoes from mostly Renaissance poetry. The octave in particular reminds me of Viola's description of her love in 'Twelfth Night' - the oft-quoted 'Patience on a monument' speech. Also, I wonder if the anaphora helps. S Shastri. [PS: 'Anaphora' - repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect <Lincoln's "we cannot dedicate--we cannot consecrate--we cannot hallow--this ground" is an example> -- Merriam-Webster, www.m-w.com - t.]