Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Letters

For some reason I recall this poem from Mr. Harrison's British Poetry class in high school. He made us memorize a lot of little quips ("O' Rose, thou art sick...Whan that April with his showres soote...Of mans first disobedience," the list goes on...) This one below by Coleridge never resonated with me until now. Perhaps because it's not related to any Grateful Dead lyrics like most of the other stuff we read. Mr. Harrison was a VW bus drivin', baggy corduroy and beaded belt wearin', bearded, duct taped shoed granola dude who loved teaching, poetry, and Jerry Garcia. He made poetry come to life for us in ways that few teachers could. He had a magical wackiness about him that was just the right mix of hipster cool and erudite professor for a classroom full of hormonal, know-it-all high school juniors.

Anyway, the following poem inexplicably popped into my head this afternoon. Our brains play tricks on us that will never be explained, so let's just chalk it up to one of life's great, marvelous mysteries. I found this befitting the day, "Love Day," as Bird calls it.

Answer To A Child's Question by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, I love and I love!
In the winter they're silent -- the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving -- all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he --
I love my Love, and my Love loves me!

To Bird:
I love your infectious laugh that inevitably leads to that hysterical snortle sound you make.
I love that you leave the pretzels when you eat Chex Mix.
I love your maddening inquisitive nature.
I love your wet, sloppy kisses.
I love they way you chew on your cheeks when you're concentrating.
I love when we curl up and read Shel Silverstein together, especially when you memorize the poems and recite them with me.
I love your smart ass attitude because I know that will translate into a confident young man who isn't a lemming.
I love that you blush and chuckle when I call you my first baby.

To Deal:
I love your sweet, sweet voice.
I love when you randomly clutch onto my knees and say, "I love you, Mommy."
I love your giant bug catcher smile.
I love the way you cross your ankles when you're deep in thought.
I love your happy, shy, sensitive nature.
I love holding your hand.
I love your giggle that sounds like a show tune when you're being tickled.
I love that you unselfishly live your life and are quick to give feel better kisses to anyone who's down.

To Mac Daddy:
I love that you love me despite myself, cliche as it sounds.
I love that you bake, and it's not from a box.
I love when you laugh so hard that you take off your glasses and wipe away the tears.
I love your pipes.
I love that you let me talk and talk and talk every night before bed, even though you've driven 800 miles and just desperately want to tune me out and sleep.
I love that you kiss us when you walk in the door, even before putting down your briefcase.
I love your wicked sense of humor that is all the more maddening because everyone thinks you're so nice.
I love that you make me better and happier just being in your company.


I love you to the moon and back again, boys.
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