KR OnlinePoetrySpecial Collections

Canzon

for British Rail Services

Thou hast committed
fornication

Sols sui qui sai lo sobr’afan qe.m sotz

I know I am not the only to suffer the pains of love.
But this I also know: that each who loves thinks so.
For myself I can only say,
I doubt if any other
Has suffered more than myself
From this overloved desire.

It is always a wrong move
In the chess game of all we do;
It upsets the sparkling play
Whose light desire does smother;
It destroys all kind of breadth
And plunges a quagmire

My self is at one remove
Because it has gone to you
Who will not display
The sense of me another,
Being bound in yourself
By my forlorn desire.

Everything goes to show
That those are lucky who
Keep themselves away
From tangling with another
Cold and in themselves
Unlike my absurd desire.

I desire to love
You and be loved by you
Who cancel out my play
Being so much another
Being so much yourself
Away from my require.

You check my every move
By being what you will do
And not what I could say
To you, my love, an other,
Suffering more myself
By overlove and desire.

And yet I would not not love
If I could chose not to;
For I require to play
By hazarding myself
To you, my self, the other
Whom I always desire.

Coda
                            For
I am Arnaut who drinks the wind
And hunts the hare from the ox
And swims against the stream.

Veronica Forrest-Thomson
Veronica Forrest-Thomson was the author of three poetry collections and the influential critical work Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry.