Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Love burns.

Sharon was telling me with a laugh about the music-consumption rule imposed on her little brother by his mission president: all music composed over 100 years ago was fair game. She said that her other brother quipped, "So, does that include the musical setting of 'Nine Inch Will Please a Lady' by Robert Burns?" I was shocked (and a bit amused, I confess). I had been unacquainted with this bit of old-timey musical smut penned by our most venerated Scottish poet. I will not even provide a link to the verse, as it is not in keeping with the tone I wish this blog to have.

Sharon, on the other hand, had not been aware of Burns's genuinely sweet side. For this same Mr. Burns also wrote one of my favorite poems about married love, which must be recited in a lilting Scottish brogue:

John Anderson, my Jo

John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my jo!

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither;
And monie a canty day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson, my jo.

GLOSS: "jo" = sweetheart, "acquent" = acquainted, "brent" = smooth, "beld" = bald, "pow" = head, "clamb" = climbed, "thegither" = together, "monie" = many, "canty" = cheerful, "ane anither" = one another, "maun" = must


Why the love poetry out of the blue? In December, all is good and right and full of love and sparkly things. I'm feelin' it. February 14, on the other hand, is a good one-and-a-half soul-chilling months outside of the true Season of Love and I predict I will be in no mood to quote my favorite love poems as I sit home on Valentine's Day and watch the five hour Jane Eyre DVD with a spoon in one hand and a carton of Haagen Dazs in the other.

So Valentine's has come early this year, kids. If you've got love poems or sweet nothings, fling 'em in my direction. If you are not of a literary bent, truffles will also be accepted.

Will you be mine?


3 comments:

sophie said...

Can I come and eat Haagen Daaz with you? (Or however that's spelled. An excess of As.)

I need Scottish Boy to recite for me.

Sharon said...

You should check out my childhood favorite love poem, "Poor Angus" by Shel Silverstein. I think it's still good, but don't really know. I couldn't find the text online.

And then of course, there's my boyfriend, W.B. ... Sigh

Marie said...

Come on over, Sophie dear. We'll have ourselves a grand old pity party.

I found Sharon's little poem online, and it is truly sweet.


Poor Angus

Oh what do you do, poor Angus,
When hunger makes you cry?
"I fix myself an omelet, sir,
Of fluffy clouds and sky."

Oh what do you wear, poor Angus,
When winds blow down the hills?
"I sew myself a warm cloak, sir,
Of hope and daffodils."

Oh who do you love, poor Angus,
When Catherine's left the moor?
"Ah, then, sir, then's the only time
I feel I'm really poor."


As for your beau, the late Mr. Yeats, the best love poem of his that I know of is the one you had on your wall:

When You are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.