01 November, 2010

The Lovers

Writing poems about famous images has been an interesting experiment for me. It's an exercise in imagination to build a story behind a single frame, that one moment captured on canvas or film.

This poem is based on a painting by Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte called The Lovers. I wanted to convey a sense of blindly loving someone without actually knowing them, but the initial feedback I got was that my message didn't come through. It was described as "adorable," which wasn't quite what I was going for. Anyway, I've tweaked it a bit, so let me know what you think.

The Lovers


This thin barrier of fabric, rough and crude,
Tastes far bitterer than the sweet lips behind it.
Yet they feel their way,
These lovers,
Ignoring cruel obstacles, and so their passion triumphs.
It thrives in the fight
Against this sad, mean attempt to separate them.

This Pyramus has no moon to light his way,
This Thisbe no crack through which to speak.
Yet this wall has been erected between them
Hoping absence will make the heart grow indifferent.

"One day," he tells her, holding her close.
"We shall lift this veil, you and I."
One day they will finally see each other,
He thinks as he leans in, blindly searching
For those sweet mulberry lips.
The ones he is certain lie beneath.

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