In my transition to someone who would major in English, I encountered this John Donne poem:
I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then?
But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly/
Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?
T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desir'd , and got, t'was but a dream of thee.
And now good morrow to our walking soules,
Which watch not one another out of feare;
For love, all love of other sights controules,
And makes one little roome, an every where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts do in the faces rest,
Where can we find two better hemispheares
Without sharpe North, without declining West?
What ever dies, was not mixt equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
I love the emotion expressed throughout this poem. It is intense passion, the joy of finding an awaking of soul in another person--in finding that one lacked, but simply didn't realize it until the speaker met his love. Donne is well known for being a physical poet; he evokes the senses. In this poem, the lovers are lying in bed, in their "one little roome," gazing so intently that they see each other in the other's eye. Instead of saying that they find themselves reflected in each other's heart or something non-physical, he gives us that lovely image, where they literally see. Their love is so intense that they can lose themselves in one another (and, knowing Donne, he means emotionally and sexually), and their tiny bedroom is "an every where."
Donne is one of my favorite poets, and I've enjoyed his poetry since I was a high-school senior; my AP English teacher's use of him to show how intense and full of meaning poetry can be is one reason that I became an English major.
I liked this poem, but after Lance and I had been dating for a while, it suddenly made more sense. I could understand the intensity of the speaker, feel a love that makes one feel like the world wasn't complete until that person appeared. There is no worrying about the future in Donne's poem; he simply seeks to capture one little moment full of love, passion, and joy.
All of this discussion of love and great poetry is my long-winded way of announcing that Lance and I are engaged (though most of my readers probably know by now from other sources). I was happy to be a girlfriend, but I'm excited to move into a new phase of our relationship as fiancée and wife. I'm not sure I could ask for a better partner, and I'm so glad that six years ago I tagged along with some friends to a party where I first met this cute curly-headed guy and tried to get his attention by playing four-square and smiling. We have made our own little world with one another, and the possibilities of the future are endless.