I carry your heart

This lovely poem by e.e. cummings sounds like it could have been written by Rumi:

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

young_lovers
Rumi

Translation:
Stealthily as the soul, you are going in the midst of my soul; O luster of my garden, you are my gracefully moving cypress.
When you go, go not without me; soul of my soul, go not without my body, and depart not out of my sight, O my blazing torch.
I tear up the seven heavens and pass beyond the seven seas, when lovingly you gaze into my giddy soul.
Since you came into my bosom, infidelity and faith are my servitors, O you whose vision is my religion, whose face is my faith.
You have made me headless and footless, you have made me sleepless and foodless;
enter drunken and laughing, O my Joseph of Canaan.
Through your grace I have become soul-like and have become hidden from myself,
O you whose being has become hidden in my hidden being.
The rose rends its garment because of you, O you with whom the narcissus’ eye is intoxicated, of whom the branches are pregnant, O you my infinite garden.
One moment you brand me, the next you draw me into the garden; you draw me before the lamp so that my eyes may be opened.
O soul before all souls, O mine before all mines, O moment before all moments, O my very own, O my very own!
 Our resting place is not earth; though the body crumbles, it matters not. My thought is not the skies, O you, union with whom is my heaven.
The grave of mariners is the sea forevermore; in the water of life where is death, O you, my Sea, my Ocean?
O you whose scent is in my sigh, whose sigh is my fellow traveler, in the hope of my Emperor color and scent have become distraught with me.
My soul, since like a mote in the air it has become separated from all heaviness, why should it be without you, O origin of my four elements?
O my king Ṣalāh al-Dīn, you who know my way and see my way, you who are free of concern with my little dignity, loftier than my potentiality.

 

 

 

 

Original:
دزدیده چون جان می روی اندر میان جان من
سرو خرامان منی ای رونق بستان من
چون می روی بی‌من مرو ای جان جان بی‌تن مرو
وز چشم من بیرون مشو ای شعله تابان من
هفت آسمان را بردرم وز هفت دریا بگذرم
چون دلبرانه بنگری در جان سرگردان من
تا آمدی اندر برم شد کفر و ایمان چاکرم
ای دیدن تو دین من وی روی تو ایمان من
بی‌پا و سر کردی مرا بی‌خواب و خور کردی مرا
سرمست و خندان اندرآ ای یوسف کنعان من
از لطف تو چو جان شدم وز خویشتن پنهان شدم
ای هست تو پنهان شده در هستی پنهان من
گل جامه در از دست تو ای چشم نرگس مست تو
ای شاخ‌ها آبست تو ای باغ بی‌پایان من
یک لحظه داغم می کشی یک دم به باغم می کشی
پیش چراغم می کشی تا وا شود چشمان من
ای جان پیش از جان‌ها وی کان پیش از کان‌ها
ای آن پیش از آن‌ها ای آن من ای آن من
منزلگه ما خاک نی گر تن بریزد باک نی
اندیشه‌ام افلاک نی ای وصل تو کیوان من
مر اهل کشتی را لحد در بحر باشد تا ابد
در آب حیوان مرگ کو ای بحر من عمان من
ای بوی تو در آه من وی آه تو همراه من
بر بوی شاهنشاه من شد رنگ و بو حیران من
جانم چو ذره در هوا چون شد ز هر ثقلی جدا
بی‌تو چرا باشد چرا ای اصل چار ارکان من
ای شه صلاح الدین من ره دان من ره بین من
ای فارغ از تمکین من ای برتر از امکان من

 

 

Like a Candle…

from Figs and Thistles: First Fig

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

My candle burns at both ends;
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!

 

Source: Poetry (June 1918).

 

 

Hafez

Translation:

In faithfulness to your love, I am famous like the candle
In the street of the rends, I burn all night like the candle
Day and night, sleep slips away, from my grief-stricken eyes
Sick from separation, my red eyes weep like the candle
The mountain of my patience melted like wax in your grief’s hand
Since I began to burn and melt in your love like the candle
My string of patience’s cut by the scissors of your hair
But still, in your love’s fire, I am smiling like the candle
If the horse of my rosy tear had not been so swift
How could my secret shine out everywhere just like the candle?
As ever, my poor desperate heart is occupied with you
Shedding tears of water and of flame just like the candle
Without your world-adorning beauty, my day is like the night
Within your love’s perfection, I am fading like the candle
Honor me with union for one night, o wild one
and with your visit, brighten up my house like the candle
Like the morning, your coming is just a breath away
Show your face, so I can give my soul up like the candle
In exile’s night, send me a promise of union, or else
With this fire, I’ll burn down the whole world like the candle
It’s amazing how your love lit Hafez all on fire
How can I quench my heart’s fire with tears, like the candle?

 

 

Original:

در وفای عشق تو مشهور خوبانم چو شمـع
شب نشین کوی سربازان و رندانم چو شمع
روز و شب خوابم نمیآید به چشم غم پرست
بـس که در بیماری هجر تو گریانم چو شمع
کوه صبرم نرم شد چون موم در دست غمـت
تا در آب و آتش عشقت گدازانم چو شـمـع
رشتـه صـبرم به مقراض غمت ببریده شد
همـچـنان در آتش مهر تو سوزانم چو شمع
گر کـمیت اشـک گلگونم نـبودی گرم رو
کی شدی روشن به گیتی راز پنهانم چو شمع
در میان آب و آتش همچنان سرگرم توسـت
این دل زار نزار اشـک بارانـم چو شـمـع
بی جمال عالم آرای تو روزم چون شب است
با کمال عشق تو در عین نقصانم چو شمـع
سرفرازم کن شبی از وصـل خود ای نازنین
تا مـنور گردد از دیدارت ایوانم چو شـمـع
همـچو صبحم یک نفس باقیست با دیدار تو
چـهره بنما دلبرا تا جان برافشانم چو شمع
در شـب هجران مرا پروانه وصلی فرسـت
ور نه از دردت جهانی را بسوزانم چو شمـع
آتـش مـهر تو را حافظ عجب در سر گرفت

siyavash

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

 

If not for my sighs, these tears would drown me
If not for these tears, my sighs would scorch me

 

ولولا زفيري ٔاغرقتني ٔادمعي
ولولا دموعي ٔاحرقتني زفرتي

Abraham_ready_to_sacrifice_his_son,_Ishmael_(top);_Abraham_cast_into_fire_by_Nimrod_(bottom)

John Donne

 

Hero and Leander

 

Both robb’d of air, we both lie in one ground ;
Both whom one fire had burnt, one water drown’d

 

Rumi

A candle is made to become entirely flame.
In that annihilating moment
it has no shadow.
It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.
Look at this
just-finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe
from virtue and vice,
the pride and the shame
we claim from those.
(Coleman Barks’ “translation”)

 

There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled.
In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be stitched.
O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning fire of love–
Love comes of its own free will, it can’t be learned in any school.

 

THE SHIP SUNK IN LOVE

Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, ‘It’s not allowed’?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse for one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

Mathnawi VI, 617-623
The Rumi Collection, Edited by Kabir Helminski


O light, from seeing your beauty, my soul became candle-like
Turn my fortune so I can shed myself candle-like
The promise of the morning breeze, of joining Thee day and night
Burning, yellow, shaking, crying and humble, candle-like.
Thy flowing hair, like scissors sheer my soul at its height
In this fire of separation burn me no more, candle-like.
Pearls overflowing from the sea of my eye, fill my bosom in delight
My burning heart sent its flames blazing upward, candle-like.
Solar flares set in the celestial lantern, sooth the sight
Every morn dam my tears and shed no more, candle-like.
Thy face is spring-like, thy fire sorrows fight
How long burn in this solstice of separation, candle-like?
From the memory of thy light, every night flames take flight
If only my heart’s fire would burn my soul candle-like.
How long burn thyself Shams-e Tabrizi, thy love beaming bright?
We know of nothing other than this burning, candle-like.
(trans. by Shahriar Shahriari)

 

Original:

ای منور از جمالت دیده ی جانم چو شمع
از در بختم درآ تا جان بر افشانم چو شمع

از هوای خنده ی صبح وصالت روز و شب
زرد و لرزان و گدازان زار و گریانم چو شمع

زلف چون مقراض بر كش رشته جانم ببر
بیش از این در آتش هجران مسوزانم چو شمع

آستین و دامنم پر در شد از دریای عشق
تا علم زد آتش دل از گریبانم ، چو شمع

آتش خورشید را ، در مشعل سبز فلك
هر سحر از آبگیر دیده ، بنشانم چو شمع

ای رخت نوروز عالم زآتش ، جانسوز شمع
چند سوزی در شب یلدای هجرانم چو شمع

آفتاب از خاطرم ، شعله فروزد هر شبی
آتش دل گر بسوزد ، رشته ی جانم چو شمع

چند سوزی خویشتن را شمس تبریزی ز عشق
ماورای سوختن ، كاری نمیدانم چو شمع

Ana Moura

Translation:

My eyes are two candles
Casting a sad light on my face
Your eyes are two candles
Casting a sad light on my face

Marked by the pains
Of longing and grief

When I hear the ringing of the bells
And the afternoon is coming to an end

I pray, out of longing for you
An “Our Father” for me

But you do not know how to pray
Nor how to ache with longing

Why do you disturb me so
Why do I want you so much?

For my despair you are like
The clouds that fly high

Every day I wait for you
Every day you stand me up

Original:

Os meus olhos são dois círios
Dando luz triste ao meu rosto
Os teus olhos são dois círios
Dando luz triste ao meu rosto
Marcado pelos martírios
Da saudade e do desgosto.

Quando oiço bater trindades
E a tarde já vai no fim

Eu peço às tuas saudades
Um padre nosso por mim.Mas não sabes fazer preces
Não tens saudades nem pranto

Por que é que tu me aborreces
Por que é que eu te quero tanto?

És para meu desespero
Como as nuvens que andam altas

Todos os dias te espero
Todos os dias me faltas.

 From http://lyricstranslate.com/

Maranâus

I am not happiness, but only
The tragic substance that produces it.
In the great darkness, I am a burning flambeau
And I don’t see my own light.

 

Original:

Eu não sou a alegria, mas apenas
A trágica matéria que a produz.
Na grande escuridão, sou facho a arder
E não avisto minha própria luz!

 

(Pascoaes, 1920, p.216)

 

Shakespeare, Shushtari, and the Sultan

Sonnet 29

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

-William Shakespeare

 

Translation:

O you present in my heart
Thinking of you, I am glad

 

If she doesn’t visit my eye
then my heart replaces it

 

I have not vanished, but my body
is wasting away from weakness

 

The blamer did not find me
and no watchman sees me

 

If fate had known me
the people would have come to me

 

Nothing remains except love
ask it, and it will answer for me

-Abu’l Hasan Shushtari

 

Original:
يَا حاضِراً في    فُؤادي        بِالفكرِ    فِيكمْ      أطيبُ
إِنْ لمْ يزُرْ شخصُ عيني        فالقلبُ   عِندي     ينُوبُ
مَا  غِبتُ  لَكِنَّ    جِسْمي        من   النُّحول      يذوبُ
فَلمْ    يَجدْني      عذولٌ        وَلاَ    رآنِي       رَقِيبُ
وَلوْ دَرَى  الدَّهْرُ    عَنِّي        جَاءت   إِلىَّ      شعُوبُ
لَمْ   يَبْقَ   غَيْرُ     غَرامٍ        فَسَلهُ    عَنِّي     يِجُيبُ

 

 

 

Translation of Lyrics:

Strumming the strings of his guitar,
Strumming the strings of his guitar,
A Sultan complained of his Queen.

 

Two wells of stars, your black eyes,
And a moonless rose, your black hair,
Your black hair, your black hair,
Two wells of stars, your black eyes.

 

The rosemary bush smells of your body,
The rosemary bush smells of your body,
No jasmine on earth is more tender
No jasmine on earth is more tender.

 

Although a powerful king, I am a beggar,
Although a powerful king, I am a beggar,
If I lack the flames of your love,
Of your love, of your love,
If I lack the fire of your love.

 

Do not mess with me anymore,
Do not mess with me anymore,
Because you know too well
Because you tease me
Because you tease me.

 

 

Original:
Rasgueando las cuerdas de su guitarra,
Rasgueando las cuerdas de su guitarra,
Un sultán se quejaba de su sultana.

 

Son dos pozos de estrellas tus ojos negros,
Y una rosa sin luna tu pelo negro,
Tu pelo negro, tu pelo negro,
Son dos pozos de estrellas, tus ojos negros.

 

A mata de romero huele tu cuerpo,
A mata de romero huele tu cuerpo,
No hay en la tierra mora jazmin mas tierno
No hay en la tierra mora jazmin mas tierno

 

Siendo un rey poderoso soy un mendigo,
Siendo un rey poderoso soy un mendigo,
Si me faltan las llamas de tu cariño,
De tu cariño, de tu cariño,
Si me faltan las llamas de tu cariño.

 

No te metas más conmigo,
No te metas más conmigo,
Porque de sobra tú sabes
Que tú roneas conmigo,
Que tú roneas conmigo.

 


Compasses

 

Abu Sa’īd Abu’l Khayr

(10th-11th C)

 Translation:
You and I, my love, are a pair of compasses
though divided in twain, in body we are one
We circle on a point, anon like compasses
at the end we bring our heads together as one.

 

Translation: Reza Ourdoubadian. The Poems of Abu Sa’id Abu’l Kheyr. Ibex, 2010

Original:
جانا من و تو نمونه پرگريم
سر گر چه دو كردهايم يك تن داريم
بر نقطه روانيم كنون خون پرگار
در آخر كار سر بهم باز آريم

 

 

Hafez

(14th-11th C)

Translation:

For years, we pawned our book for wine
The wealth of the tavern was our lesson and prayer

 

See my Master’s grace with us drunks
His eye saw goodness in whatever we did

 

The book of my knowledge, you washed it all away with wine
I saw the heavens  searching for a heart that was wise

 

Seek that beauty from the idols, O knowing heart
Said the one who knew the art of the wandering gaze

 

My heart, like a compass, spun round in all directions
I’m lost in that circle, with foot firmly on the ground

 

From the pain of love, the minstrel improvised sad songs
so sad that bloody tears fell from the eyes of the worldly-wise

 

My heart bloomed with joy, like a flower by the stream
under the shadow of the cypress tree of my beloved

 

My rosy Master, would hear no evil about his blue-robed disciples
otherwise, what stories there would have been!

 

Hafez’s counterfeit heart was not spent
because this trader sees all hidden flaws

 

Original:

            سال‌ها دفتر ما در گرو صهبا بود
رونق میکده از درس و دعای ما بود
             نیکی پیر مغان بین که چو ما بدمستان
هر چه کردیم به چشم کرمش زیبا بود
             دفتر دانش ما جمله بشویید به می
که فلک دیدم و در قصد دل دانا بود
             از بتان آن طلب ار حسن شناسی ای دل
کاین کسی گفت که در علم نظر بینا بود
              دل چو پرگار به هر سو دورانی می‌کرد
و اندر آن دایره سرگشته پابرجا بود
              مطرب از درد محبت عملی می‌پرداخت
که حکیمان جهان را مژه خون پالا بود
              می‌شکفتم ز طرب زان که چو گل بر لب جوی
بر سرم سایه آن سرو سهی بالا بود
              پیر گلرنگ من اندر حق ازرق پوشان
رخصت خبث نداد ار نه حکایت‌ها بود
              قلب اندوده حافظ بر او خرج نشد
کاین معامل به همه عیب نهان بینا بود

 

John Donne
(16th-17th C)
“A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

 

AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“Now his breath goes,” and some say, “No.”

So let us melt, and make no noise,                                       5
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;                              10
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, ’cause it doth remove                                     15
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.                           20

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so                                          25
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,                                30
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th’ other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,                                    35
And makes me end where I begun.


Source:
Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 51-52.

 

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips, bidding adieu

Hafez
Come tell me what it is that I have gained
From loving you,
Apart from losing all the faith I had
And knowledge too?

 

Though longing for you scatters on the wind
All my life’s work
Still, by the dust on your dear feet, I have
kept faith with you

 

And even though I’m just a tiny mote
In love’s great kingdom,
I’m one now with the sun, before your face,
In loving you

 

Bring wine! In all my life I’ve never known
A corner where
I could sit snugly, safely, and enjoy
Contentment too

 

And, if you’re sensible, don’t ply me with
Adivce; your words
Are wasted on me, and the reason is
I’m drunk; it’s true!

 

How can I not feel hopeless shame when I
Am near my love?
What service could I offer her?
What could I say or do?

 

Hafez is burned, but his bewitching love
Has yet to say,
“Hafez I wounded you, and here’s the balm
I send for you.”

 

From: Dick Davis.  Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz.  Mage, 2012

 

غزل 315- به غیر از آن که بشد دین و دانش از دستم

Original:
بغیــر از آنکـــه بشد دین و دانـش از دستـــــم
بیــا بگــــو که ز عشقت چــــه طرف بربستـم
اگـــر چه خرمن عمـــرم غم تو داد بیـــــــــاد
بخـــاک پای عـــزیزت که عهـــــد نشکستـــم
چـــو ذره گـــر چه حقیـــرم ببین بدولت عشق
که در هــــوای رخت چون به مهــــر پیوستم
بیار باده که عمـــریست تا من از ســــــرا من
به کنج عــــافیت از بهـــــــر عیـش ننشستـــم
اگـــر زمـــردم هشیاری ای نصحیت گـــــــو
سخن بخاک میفکـــن چـــــرا کــــه من مستم
چگونه سر ز خجالت بر آورم بـــــــر دوست
که خـــدمتی به سزا بر نیامــــــــد از دستــــم
بسوخت حافظ و آن یـــــار دلســـــوز نـــگفت
کـــه مـــرهمی بفـــرستم که خاطرش خستـــم

 

Camaron

Translation:

Life is an illusion
that no one lives without
nor can it be solved
Because it’s like a star
no one has ever reached

When I met you I loved you
I gave you love and warmth
and finally I realized
that was a mistake
that I suffered with you

 

Original:

La vida es una ilusión
que nadie vive sin ella
y no tiene solución
porque es como una estrella
que jamás nadie alcanzó

Cuando yo a ti te conocí
te di cariño y calor
y al final me convencí
que fue una equivocación
la que yo contigo sufrí

 

Keats

Two stanzas from “An Ode to Melancholy”:

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty – Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

 

Zen and the snowman

At the peak of my soul’s depths
I sit in silent reverie
The sun above, weather below
The vast blue breathes in, out of me

 

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

 

Hafez says…

          حافظ سخن بگوی که بر صفحه جهان    

این نقش ماند از قلمت یادگار عمر

 

But those whose lives are centered on
Your lovely mouth confess
No other thoughts than this, and think
Nothing of Nothingness

 

                  بيا و هستي حافظ ز پيش او برد
که با وجود تو کس نشنود ز من که منم

 

Come, and make sure Hafez’s being
will disappear-
Since You exist, no one will hear
Me say, “I’m here.”
 

Love, in Old English Verse

To Celia
by Ben Jonson

Drink to me, only, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine:
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st back to me:
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

LOVEby: George Herbert (1593-1632)

    • LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
      Guilty of dust and sin.
      But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
      From my first entrance in,
      Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
      If I lack’d anything.’A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
      Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
      ‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
      I cannot look on Thee.’
      Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
      ‘Who made the eyes but I?”Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
      Go where it doth deserve.’
      ‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
      ‘My dear, then I will serve.’
      ‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
      So I did sit and eat.

THE FLEA
by John Donne (c.1572-1631)
MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
    Yet this enjoys before it woo,
    And pamper’d swells with one blood made of two ;
    And this, alas ! is more than we would do.
O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we’re met,
And cloister’d in these living walls of jet.
    Though use make you apt to kill me,
    Let not to that self-murder added be,
    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck’d from thee?
Yet thou triumph’st, and say’st that thou
Find’st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
‘Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield’st to me,
Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

 

Sonnet 116
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I’ve always loved his sprung verse, its sounds and rhythms simultaneously reminds me of Old Anglo-Saxon poetry, Yoruba poetry, and rap.  As incredible as it may seem, the sad English monk may have foreshadowed some of hip-hop and spoken word’s poetic styles.  But don’t take my word for it, listen to Eminem of Pharoahe Monch after reading some Hopkins and tell me what you think.

Oh No!-Pharoahe Monch