With No disrespect to the late Barry White, the late Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, and a host of others both living and dead, I raise the question, “which art-form most embodies the true language of Love and romantic messages, songwriting or poetry?”. I can almost hear a gasp of disbelief being produced by music fans everywhere right now, “Are you mad, boy? If it wasn’t for Nat King Cole, you may not have even been born!”
Granted, I may owe a debt of gratitude to the many crooners who have kept many romantic unions alive and productive. But what role did Poetry play in creating those romantic relationships ? That ‘s my contention today and as my main source of evidence, I cite my own journey down the fuzzy pink path called Love. I make no apologies for the claim that Poetry is the true language of love and romantic messages, as uncrowned as it may be. Give me your undivided attention for the next few minutes as I illustrate my points of argument.
How poetry helped me meet the love of My life
I first met Fatima, the woman who became the love of my life in a most unremarkable manner. There were no sudden fireworks or crooning angels. I do not remember if there were any songs playing in the background that eventful day. Her most memorable quality at the time was some unfinished artwork scattered on her desk. After a brief conversation, we agreed to meet again at the movies to get to know each other better. Fast forward several months later and I randomly invite her to a movie again. Feeling the faint stirrings of romance, I broached the subject of dating. She replied with a classic line just ripe for a poetic reply, “It’s not yet 90 days, so it can’t be real.” The following was my heartfelt reply.
Is It Real?
Excuse me, Miss,
Please don’t think I am fresh
But I’ve got a few questions for you,
You see, I have these feelings I want to express
But I do not know what to do.
When my Heart races each time I see you,
And my blood rushes straight to my head,
Is it Love that I feel now,
or in 90 days, will all of these feelings be dead?
When the touch of your hand
Sends chills up my spine,
And my mind just goes kinda hazy,
Is it real what I feel now,
Or in 90 days, will I think I was just kinda crazy?
Could it be I’m just losing my mind when I kiss you,
And feel that we fit like a glove,
Or, in 90 days, will I just dismiss you
And wander in search of this mystery called Love?
Frankly, My Dear, my mind’s in a haze,
My heart’s in a flurry in all kinda ways,
My feelings are messed up,
Because I’ve been told
That Love can’t be Real
Till it’s 90 days old!!!
The Effect of Poetry
That was the beginning of the most fulfilling relationship of my life. Poetry was able to say everything I needed to say, without having to buy endless notebooks, pens and paper. Through poetry I was able to question a topic and answer it by being straight to the point and helping her to see the question from another angle for the first time. Imagine if I had written a heartfelt letter asking her to question her long-held beliefs because I had these feelings for her, romantic or otherwise. How many pages would that have required? Only through poetry was I able to cut to the chase and settle the question once and for all. Cupid has long been portrayed as the messenger of love, slinging arrows carelessly into love-lorn hearts, but shouldn’t he be portrayed as bringing poems to the love-afflicted. That was not the only instance during our relationship that Poetry allowed me to tell my chosen about the feelings she was arousing within me. In the early days of our relationship, I was able to let her know this, through poetry:
Loving you is doing a number on me,
I can’t believe my head.
It’s wreaking havoc with my memory
And turned my brains to lead.
I can’t remember when last I saw you,
Or when last we’ve been to bed,
My body is screaming for you
And that’s all that can fit in my head.
I am no longer sure 2 + 2 = 4,
Or the sun sets each day in the west.
My body keeps screaming it needs you some more
And your loving is the best.
When I take up a pen,
My hands write your name.
I see your face in my mirror
Over and Over again.
I hear your voice on the phone,
Every time the phone rings.
I can’t get my mind off you
To do other things.
The wind whispers your name
Every time it goes by.
I see pictures of you
In the clouds in the sky.
Your laughter I hear in the water that falls
As rain from the sky, bouncing off of the walls.
Folks may think I’ve gone crazy
But I won’t complain.
I like how you do me,
Let’s do it again…
Again, I ask you, could I do this through prose, or even through song for that matter?
The poet’s ability to crystallize ideas
Through real life experience I have grown to appreciate the poet’s ability to crystallize ideas and state concisely his feelings in his actual environment. With the poet’s uncanny ability to access his feelings at all points in time and express those feelings in as few words as possible, he is incomparable, even to the songwriter. In most cases, the singer depends on musical chords to portray the emotions that the poet captures in just his words. The skilled poet transfers his rhythm and emotions in his inflections of speech with no dependence on other body parts or outside instruments. He doesn’t even have to be seen to be clearly understood. One Valentine’s Day, I presented Fatima with this Poem to let her feel my emotions at the time. Need I say, she completely understood.
I thought I’d surprise you and say something smart
Something unusual that’d cause you to start
Thinking of me in a whole different way
But honest, I just could not think what to say
If I told you “I love you”
You’ve heard that before
And you’d file that away in your “heard before” drawer
I can’t say “You’re soo cute”
Cause you know that’s a fact and may think I’m trying some roundabout tact
To get you to do something for me
But honest, I’m trying to surprise you, you see.
I can’t speak of your eyes, so lovely to behold
Or the curve of your thighs, you’d think I’m too bold
Or the pout of your lips which I so love to kiss
I’ve just got to say something more shocking than this.
I’ve just got to say something to make your blood hot
To make your skin tingle a heck of a lot
To make your thighs moist and your knees get so weak
Your breathing so shallow you hardly can speak
Your heart set afire with longing for me
Your desires run rampant, your juices set free
In a mind-boggling blast that surpasses orgasm
And sends your soul floating in a satisfied chasm
But sadly, I’ve got to say this….
I’ve sat here all night with my thinking cap on
I’ve thought all through the night until early morn
And have come to the conclusion so late in this day
That I just cannot think of one darned thing to say
Except, “I love you with all of my heart”
A saying that’s common and not very smart
But there’s one BIG twist when I say it to you
It’s not just a saying, it really is TRUE
….I LOVE YOU MUCH!!!…
What other language do you know that can express a person’s emotional conflicts and aims to the letter, other than poetry? Can any other language you can think of come close to achieving this effect???
I have many, many examples of Poetry’s ability to contend for the title of TRUE LANGUAGE OF LOVE but I shall reserve some for other occasions. I believe that if you should examine my previous arguments with an unbiased mind, you would, at this point, agree with me wholeheartedly that poetry is the only TRUE champion among all contenders. I have shown you clear examples of Poetry’s effects in my life. My relationship was one of the best I ever enjoyed in my life. It became the yardstick by which any other relationship I attempted was measured. Such is the lasting and overwhelming power of Poetry. Let me exit with this parting shot: what is the easiest thing you can recall, an old song or your favorite poem from long ago? Case closed.
Do you agree or disagree with the opinion? Leave your comment below.