Tuesday, November 15, 2005

week 8 post 1

First Love
Wislawa Szymborska

They say
the first love's most important.
That's very romantic,
but not my experience.
Something was and wasn't there between us,
something went on and went away.
My hands never tremble
when I stumble on silly keepsakes
and a sheaf of letters tied with string
— not even ribbon.
Our only meeting after years:
two chairs chatting
at a chilly table.
Other loves
still breathe deep inside me.
This one's too short of breath even to sigh.
Yet just exactly as it is,
it does what the others still can't manage:
not even seen in dreams,
it introduces me to death.

What I really like about this poem is that the whole time you understand everything the speaker is saying and at the end it leaves you guessing. This is obviously a love poem, but different from other love poems because the speaker doesn’t seem to think that this was a significant love. Then why write about it? I think that since this was her first love, at the time it was probably very important to her as well as emotional. After falling in love a few more times, she realized how little she really loved the first person. She says that he was her first love, but that “something wasn’t there between us”, she doesn’t not seem to have any sadness or remorse about their relationship. Then why does the last line say “it introduces me to death?” I am thinking that if not because it was the hardest love to get over, it maybe because a death has occurred in this relationship. My favorite line is “other loves still breathe deep inside me”. I like it because it is so intense and meaningful. To be able to say that something lives inside you is very personal and means that one must have an extremely deep connection to it.


Blogger Julie Mong said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Julie Mong said...

It is an interesting way to write a love poem. Usually you think of love poems to be all gushy but this one is straight to the point and not lovey. Most people keep their first loves in their heart but it's interesting how this speaker goes against that norm. Maybe she or he realizes that the love was wrong? What about introducing her or he to death? That is really intense isnt it?

7:11 PM  
Blogger John Park said...

This poem's really sad. I liked the way he describes how there are other loves that breathe deep inside, while the first was to short for even a sigh. I don't really agree with this poem though. I think that for the most part there will never be another like the first, no matter who it is. The novelty of the new experience will make the girl or guy exponentially more special in the eyes of other. And this is just speaking from my experience. The last line is extremely cryptic. I'm not really sure how death ties into this poem at all.

11:42 AM  

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