Monday, May 26, 2008

Dear Vesper

The other day, the guy I mentioned about a year ago on the blog sent me an e-mail in which he wrote out of the blue, “Do you want me to send you a poem?”

“Certainly,” I answered, rather curious to see if it was going to be one of those little poem-jokes that circulate on the Internet.

What he sent surprised me and moved me in an unexpected way.

“It’s a little bit romantic,” he wrote afterward as a half-embarrassed justification. “I had to learn it for some acting lessons.”

This tickled my silly, artistic, romantic soul even more. Acting lessons?

“I thought of you at the recital,” he added. Huh? Impressive enough?

Yes, I think it is very romantic and I’m glad I got to read it because I had no idea it existed. It is a beautiful love song, immensely sad but somehow hopeful at the same time. Here it is.


a painting by Pino Daeni


Paul McNeely

By Edgar Lee Masters
(from the Spoon River Anthology, 1916)


DEAR Jane! dear winsome Jane!
How you stole in the room (where I lay so ill)
In your nurse’s cap and linen cuffs,
And took my hand and said with a smile:
“You are not so ill—you’ll soon be well.”
And how the liquid thought of your eyes
Sank in my eyes like dew that slips
Into the heart of a flower.
Dear Jane! the whole McNeely fortune
Could not have bought your care of me,
By day and night, and night and day;
Nor paid for you smile, nor the warmth of your soul,
In your little hands laid on my brow.
Jane, till the flame of life went out
In the dark above the disk of night
I longed and hoped to be well again
To pillow my head on your little breasts,
And hold you fast in a clasp of love—
Did my father provide for you when he died,
Jane, dear Jane?

4 comments:

Sarah Hina said...

His child-like worship and devotion in the poem are indeed lovely. She gave everything to him when he most needed it. Surely such a gift is immortal.

And a beautiful compliment to you for inspiring your friend to send it! Thanks for posting this, Vesper. :)

Taffiny said...

I don't know, so many different feelings, I feel a bit like I've been in some spinning game, turned by others hands, round and round, then stopped suddenly, and expected to walk forward minus my bearings.
I think of love, of care and attention, of fantasy and longing, of death, of being trapped physically but not emotionally, I am happy, I am sad. I think of youth and of not getting a full turn (at life). I think of the enduring part of love and care. And I think of you, Vesper, inspiring someone so, that he would think of you as he recites such words and then send them on to you.
And having sequenced through, I start again with the first.
Thus I am dizzy and can not fully claim my emotional or intellectual mind.

Emperor Ropi said...

I am not the kind of person who believes in these romantic stuff. I am ice hearted.

Vesper said...

And I thank you for your words, Sarah... :-)

Taffiny, I'm glad that you could write it down and I thank you for this. You expressed so well some of the thoughts spinning in my head.

Ropi, probably girls are more inclined towards romantic stuff... But be careful :-) your heart of ice might melt one day... :-)