By Thomas Page

Holidays occur at a rate which I

Cannot hope to ever plan for, that’s why

I have to freehand this poem I dare call

“Ode” on the Nones February. If y’all

Have a muse for typing please send her my

Way so that we can concoct a poem as spry

As one of Keats’ or Shelley’s by the day

Reserved for love in the generalist way.

 

English speakers, especially those who

Talk at the ambo, say the Greeks’ tongue knew

What this love business was because they had

Four words for our one, which is very bad

Because how are we  s’pposed to distinguish

The scandalous eros from saintly wish

Agape or brotherly philia 

Or filial storge when we talk. A

Consideration that people can tell

When someone is imbued in passion’s well

Is different than your neighbor wishing you

Well, like the nightingale and the cuckoo.

 

I, being biased, like English better.

Not ’cause it can differ by the letter

But that the word love is so flexible.

That the word and the feeling desirable

By all of us can be shaped like wet clay

To make our Pygmalions or convey

The complexities of our emotions

That only eyes can see like the oceans

Meeting the surf upon the shore at night

That we, us only, can understand right.

Not the Greeks who made Daphnes laurel trees

Or Adonises red anemones

Or the Persephones take the seasons

Donning Achilles’ armor for treasons

Sitting in a tent with eyes free from truer

Examples of English love immortalized

  In martial rites with rings vulcanized

In rubrics translated more than Babel

For june’d years to us immeasurable.

 

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