Poems For A Broken Heart

To the tune of: The Magnetic Fields – Always Already Gone (suggestion from Tony Ellis).

I’ve been reading my dad’s old copy of McEachran’s A Cauldron Of Spells – it’s snippets of poetry that feel good read out loud. I think it’s helping. I’ve picked my favourites out and interspersed them below.

She was a child and I was a child
In this kingdom by the sea
But we loved with a love that was more than love –
I and my Annabel Lee,
With a love that the wingéd seraphs of heaven
Coveted Her and me.
Edgar Allen Poe, Annabel Lee

I really didn’t expect breaking up to hurt this much – I am so tired of crying. Everything starts it; yesterday, I saw a peanut and sesame snack bar in a shop, a perfect mingling of our two allergies, that set me off when I was trying to buy lunch. I came home through all her packed bags; I saw her fluffy slippers, and wailed out loud and startled my landlord who was coming downstairs. I broke down when I realised she’d taken all the tacky fridge magnets. Et cetera. Yet, I know this is just a passing phase, something I have to work through, and I’m not the only one hurting here, and that you’ve all been through it before. I’m bewildered that I haven’t.

She looked a little wistfully
Then went her sunshine way;
The sea’s eye had a mist on it
And the leaves fell from the day

She went her unremembering way,
She and left in me
The pangs of all the partings gone
And partings yet to be
Francis Thompson, Daisy


I felt obliged to tell someone I respect about this, and he opened up in turn. He told me about something horrible that’s happened in his family, to his nearest relative, and the daily horror he’s going through having to help this person he loves; this is a thing his beloved is suffering that is both horrible, grotesquely humiliating and lethal, and he’s coping quietly every day. It made me ashamed, though I know my sorrow is no less valid; misery doesn’t work like Top Trumps.

He that loveth love beyond reward and retribution
Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra

Wish I’d been heartbroken younger to be honest – it sucks to be this old and cynical and weeping. I just want to sleep all the time and forget about it. But then, for some reason, you’re obliged to wake up again.

Die Jahre kommen und gehen
Geschlechter steigen ins GRab;
Doch nimmer vergeht die Liebe
Die ich im Herzen hab!

Heinrich Heine, Die Heimkehr

It’s worse than mourning, in that the object of mourning cannot be recovered – it is beyond your grasp, and that’s the horror. This, the object is present, close, could be reached, touched and tasted as it was before; the difference is in the head alone, not even in the heart. We made a painful decision, mutually and it takes all our willpower to keep hurting ourselves because we’re convinced that’s the right thing to do, for both our happiness.

Rock meeting rock can know love better
Than eyes that stare or lips that touch
All we know in love is bitter
And it is not much.

Conrad Aitken, While the blue sky above us arches

I miss Maria as much as I miss original Old Peculiar before they fucked up the flavour.
I miss her as much as Michael Bay missed the point when he made Pearl Harbour.
I miss my little one as much as a misanthrope misses anthropes.
I miss her less than I miss my forlorn hopes.
(Me, just now. Yeah, you know it’s getting bad when you start writing doggerel yourself.)

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