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.