I don’t blame you, I know
The place where you lie.
I admit everything. But look at me.
How can I live without you?
Come up to me, love,
Out of the river, or I will
Come down to you.
(excerpt from “To the Muse” by James Wright)
Those of you who know me should know that I love James Wright’s poetry. I love the way his phrases are put together– dry and barren, yet brimming with emotion. Greater symbolism and representation should be taken from the whole of his poems, since each line tends to be fairly straight-forward.
“To the Muse” is an unusual love poem, but it is one that stands out to me. We like to romanticize love, often forgetting that there are very difficult aspects to it. Wright’s poem, though, speaks to me– especially when given some circumstances I am currently a part of. The narrator’s love is obviously sick, and the narrator laments about his own inability anything about the lover’s condition. But he tries, without giving up, to remind Jenny that he still loves her, wants to be with her, wants to bring her out of pain or at least join her in it.
I used to judge boys’ worthiness for dating me based on how well their last names sounded with my first name; granted, I was in junior high. I currently say my most important quality is whether or not a man is fit to be my companion, in the adventuring, romantic, and friendly senses, among other things. But I also have been thinking more and more about, “Is this a person whom, when faced with pain– physical, mental, whatever– I will want to comfort, love, and possibly take on that pain as part of my own?” That’s pretty heavy.
Growing up is a strange thing. On the one hand, I’ve started to understand and comprehend the seriousness that I encounter and will continue to encounter. On the other, though, I also am understanding how my child-like nature will aid me as I navigate new life lessons. It’s all about balance, folks. I’m sure by the time I leave this earth I will have come close to perfecting it.