And on the positive theme of being broken hearted. The things we wished we’d said.
We Never Said Farewell
by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
We never said farewell, nor even looked
Our last upon each other, for no sign
Was made when we the linded chain unhooked
And broke the level line.
And here we dwell together, side by side,
Our places fixed for life upon the chart.
Two Islands that the roaring seas divide
Are not more far apart.
For some reason, this reminds me of the beginning of the Tempest when Prospero goes into how lonely it is to be cast aside by one’s peers. We don’t think of banishment as so horrible a punishment – at least when you compare it to the wrack, hot pokers, iron maiden, etc… But to be bereft of love burns more deeply into the soul, it’s pain that renews itself year after year, long after the memory of physical pain has been blotted out.
There is something very archtypical about this poem, as if the couple were a Jungian couple symbolizing all break ups. “We the linked chain” the Anti-lovers, those who were meant to be broken apart. The symbols are so plain that they must be universal.
It does seem unfair that there is so much devoted to a fairy tale version of romantic love, unobtainable love – that thing that rubs it in to the rest of us who either cannot find love, or get tired of the one we are with or are finding the cracks in our relationships. Why not, instead of Valentine’s day have an appreciation for real and imperfect love that lives here with us on earth. A dedication to the one who makes us want to shout, and can irritate the crap out of us, but none the less we feel our lives would be incomplete without them. That holiday, I would like very much.