Thanks to Suzie Grogan, alias Keatsbabe, we’ve started again in the memorable tradition of 2013, posting Love Poems You Wish You Had Written. But now it’s Thursday and I just cannot help but adhere to a more recent tradition here on the Dad Poet, the Thursday Love Poem!
Now, it’s been a while since our last Thursday Love Poem feature, since September in fact, so let’s review. What exactly qualifies? Well, a Thursday Love Poem is a love poem that is unique, not quite what you’d expect, a very different way of looking at love, and possibly not one fit for a Valentine’s Card. You can click right here to see all of the Thursday Love Poems we’ve shared, including Richard Blanco’s “Killing Mark,” my own poem about a Chinese cleaver, Dorothy Parker’s “One Perfect Rose,” and of course the TLP’s namesake, “Thursday,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
AND if I loved you Wednesday,
Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday–
So much is true.
And why you come complaining
Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday–yes–but what
Is that to me?
No, I don’t suggest you read that to your lover this weekend, but you really should read it out loud to someone, or maybe read it in public with your phone to your ear; read it as conversationally and causally as you can. You’re guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
As I was pondering over what to use for this pre-holiday Thursday, the Thursday of Love, I stumbled upon a poem shared on Twitter. I cannot recall to whom I should be giving credit, but I was delighted to find this unique, and honest view of romance from UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, perfectly titled for this week’s edition of TLP.
Duffy has held the ten-year position of Poet Laureate since 2009, and she’s the first woman to wear the title. You can learn more about her work and listen to her read her poem “Syntax” over at the Poetry Archive, or you can check out her interview from September’s edition of The Guardian in which she assesses her first five years in office.
Now brace yourself. This poem might make you cry.
Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
–Carol Ann Duffy
From New Selected Poems 1984-2004 (Picador, 2004). Originally published in Mean Time (Anvil, 1993).