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Love Poem of the Week

Christa Deitrick, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department,
Cupid picture to celebrate Cupid's favorite month

What better way to celebrate Cupid's favorite month than with some lovely poetry? Sure, I could have plastered up a big ol' list of books, but a wonderfully written poem is a delicacy to be savored. So all February long, I'll be serving up one love poem a week in this very spot.

All of these poems are in the public domain, so don't expect to see any super-new stuff. But love is a timeless topic, don't you think? And these master works certainly capture the universal aspects of romantic love.

So read the poem. Then read it again. Then call up someone you love and read it out loud to them. Feel the magic. Share the love. And check back here for another poem next week!

A picture of Christopher Brennan, Australian poet

First up is a poem by Christopher Brennan, a somewhat obscure Australian poet who lived from 1870-1932. By all accounts he was both a scholar and a scallywag, relieved of his position at the University of Sydney for his scandalous divorce and constant drunkenness. Brennan lived out his final years in poverty and general wretchedness, but he did manage to write a pretty decent love poem. It was penned for Violet Singer, the love of his life (not to be confused with his wife), whose tragic death drove him to even greater depths.

Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her

If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

—Christopher John Brennan

Recommended reading:
The Australian Nationalists; modern critical essays