Thursday, February 14, 2019

Choice by Angela Morgan



I'd rather have the thought of you 
To hold against my heart,
My spirit to be taught of you
With west winds blowing,
Than all the warm caresses
Of another love's bestowing,
Or all the glories of the world
In which you had no part.

I'd rather have the theme of you
To thread my nights and days,
I'd rather have the dream of you
With faint stars glowing,
I'd rather have the want of you,
The rich, elusive taunt of you
Forever and forever and forever unconfessed
Than claim the alien comfort
Of any other's breast.

O lover! O my lover,
That this should come to me!
I'd rather have the hope for you,
Ah, Love, I'd rather grope for you
Within the great abyss
Than claim another's kiss --
Alone I'd rather go my way
Throughout eternity. 

Some thoughts…

On the poet: Angela Morgan (1875-1957) was an American poet who worked as a journalist in Chicago and New York. On her beat she covered court cases, interviews, and topics of a social or human interest nature. Her first book of poetry, The Hour has Struck, was published in 1914.

On this poem: Perhaps it’s the masochist in us that finds poetry of unfulfilled love appealing. There must be an exquisite agony that the object of one’s affections either will not, or cannot, reciprocate one’s feelings.

I'd rather have the thought of you… 
I'd rather have the theme of you… 
I'd rather have the dream of you… 
I'd rather have the want of you…

So, nothing substantial then; she’s not going to settle for anything messy or real or unpretty. Oh, well.

Forever and forever and forever unconfessed 

Unconfessed…Unconfessed?

WAIT A MINUTE! She hasn’t even made a single move to realizing the dream, the theme etc. etc. What the hell’s wrong with her?!!? She’d prefer to mope around, marinating in thoughts of impossible romance, and bravely go her lonesome way throughout eternity. Martyrs mostly send the wrong message to posterity; and martyrs in love are positively annoying.

Buuuut…it’s her Choice. And I’m all for women having choices. So, there’s that.

Why, though? I mean, why leave unuttered this great heaving, throbbing amour that scorns another’s caress or, even all the glories of the world?

Perhaps, ‘Lover’ is already spoken for? Either show honorableness, or, play by the policy that all is fair in love and war. That’s a choice, I guess.

What if it’s a variety of love that dare not say its name? Either to thine own self be true, or bow to society’s tyranny and vengeful retribution. There’s another choice. And a tough one at that.

What if Lover is sailing the seven seas with either Adventure as their only mistress, or a gal in every port? What if Lover is a celibate priest, monk, or hermit? What if Lover has nobly dedicated self to a higher cause and is impermeable to emotional distractions?

Hmmm…on second thoughts, the narrator/poet might have any number of solid reasons to stay silent about her feelings. That might even be a wise choice under some circumstances, I suppose.

In fact, I can think of only one instance where her decision could be wrong – if the only thing holding her back is the fear that when Lover chooses, it won’t be her. And you know what they say – faint heart never won fair gentleman. Or, something along those lines.

On a personal note:

I hope, Readers, that none of you are under any similar compulsion to let your love go unconfessed. Happy Valentine’s Day.