Tuesday, March 1, 2011


What a year it has been....

I started this project exactly one year ago with several objectives in mind.  The principal one was to create my own anthology of love poetry, a project I had considered for years.

While this was not accomplished, I am not disappointed, as the revisiting of the thousands of poems from which these selections came was a blessing in disguise: my physical copies of them were destroyed in the December fire of my apartment.  Reading, reflecting and commenting was immensely satisfying, a meditative time I will always cherish.

Reviewing the poems and their subject of Romantic Love, it's an obvious conclusion that Pascal was right with "Le couer a ses raisons quil la Raison ne conait point".  What the heart does is, indeed, unguided by logic, Reason, and analysis.  We pursue the object of our love irrespective of recompense, emotional or material, fruitlessly searching for a return that will validate the investment.  We think nothing of losing sleep (like now), friends, family, and freedom for the merest possibility that our sentiments will be returned redoubled.  And all while facing a growing file of evidence - unanswered letters, unreturned calls, unopened gifts - blaring their clear message.

In his poem "Amar" (To Love), which is posted here, Carlos Drummond de Andrade writes of the heart  as being a bottomless reservoir of Love.  He urges that we must continue to ladle it out even when that Love falls on parched earth, because that's what we are meant to do - nay, we must do.  No other poem speaks as much to me - perhaps because the task of translating it required intimate acquaintance - to encourage that optimistic, hopeful view.  And part of my unacknowledged objective for the project was to see how re-reading, selecting, and commenting on so much "love poetry" would affect my own energy, spirit, receptivity, and capacity to love.  Time will tell.

Though few readers have left comments on individual poems, I have been amazed at the diversity of the readership.  As of today, 84 (!) countries are represented: click on the  section on the left with the little flags to see which ones.  (Update: as of September 17, 2017, visitors have come from 156 countries!)