Advice to the Lovelorn

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E. E. Cummings' Beloved Marian Morehouse

E. E. Cummings’ Beloved Marian Morehouse

 

(First appeared in Word Catalyst and was republished in Tipton Poetry Journal)
PR–489

I Was a Prince

I was a prince who found you in a pond
Secure beneath a lily pad to hide
Your creamy body from the sun and me
But you squirmed from my grasp and dived so deep
I dared not follow so I placed a net
Which looked quite like a lily pad and I
Disguised myself and sat on top a frog
As any fool could see–when you came up
I quickly kissed your lips and magic things
Occurred like in the fairy tales to wit
I did become a frog and it turned out
You really fancied frogs’ legs but I squirmed
Out of your grasp and dived down deeper than
You dared to follow so you placed a net
Which looked quite like a lily pad and when
I came back up again to sit on it
You kissed me back into a prince once more
And it turned out you fancied princes too
So you apologizing for the frogs’
Legs dinner episode said “Still it was
A lot of fun” And so we lived and dived
Quite happy ever after til one day
You were especially hungry and you knew
That when I was a frog you were supposed
To kiss me but you ate me and you said
“It was a boring game after a while”

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”

~.~.~

September 9, 2016,
I know I promised another repost about my erst beloved Sufi preceptor, the hero of last week’s repost, but a subject came up just lately with a couple of friends suggesting this theme, so pardon me, for this interlude. I expect Lud will be back soon. And as I say about each of these I repost:

This is another re-instated blog post from those which mysteriously and suddenly went missing. There were over a hundred posts in all dating from April Fool’s Day, 2013, and as I have occasionally mentioned, the vast bulk of them were wiped out by some apparently malicious entity who got access to the inner workings of my website. And as I have promised, I am gradually (and laboriously) reintroducing them, from back-up files. This is one in a series of those. Also, I should add, this whole debacle explains the gaps you will see in the Archives section.

(From June 3, 2013)
Gentle Readers,
Perhaps it’s time to talk about Romance. I don’t believe I’ve done that yet (The blog is young). I was just reading a favorite advice columnist (Carolyn Hax who appears regularly in the Washington Post—She often sounds like a Sufi). Of course a staple to the point of cliche in these columns is “advice to the lovelorn.” And today’s was no exception. A lady was lamenting that she still seemed to love and miss the guy she had by sheer dint of will, dumped. The guy who had chronically lied to her. Now, feeling lonely, she was thinking of inviting him back for some of the former laughs (Yes, there had been some). A reader left a comment that she really only loved the facade that he presented, not the real him and her grief was not for the loss of what she’d had, but rather what she wanted to have. I replied to her comment quoting Ashleigh Brilliant (Featured in my Quotes page—See above): “I will always love the false image I had of you.” (I also have another of his quotes I like: “I have seen the future! Go back!”)

So what is the Sufi advice here? Hazrat Inayat Khan has said that if deceived in love, it is best to walk away without rancor, albeit with a heavy heart. This he said, “is how the wise love.” Of course sometimes these issues are complicated, as for instance in the case of the famously devoted couple of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.
Why was theirs complicated? Well, I wasn’t a fly on the wall, but suffice it to say, that when Newman and Woodward met (On the set of a movie they were in together) they fell in love and he left his then wife. But it obviously was not because he had a wandering eye, an adulterous nature. The proof of this is that he stayed happily with Ms Woodward for more than thirty years, until in fact, his recent death.

E. E. Cummings (one of my very favorite poets) dealt sensitively with this stuff, in his sonnet:

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another’s, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;
if this should be, i say if this should be-
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

Of course it isn’t necessarily an issue of guilt. It wasn’t in Cummings poem, because he chose to focus only on the reaction of his own noble heart, without blame or rancor. Incidentally, he too was devoted to the same woman, Marian Morehouse, for over forty years, and that too lasted until he died.
God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

About Eric Halliwell

In his youth Eric heard the Russian poet Yevtushenko compare poems to ambulances. By coincidence his favorite poet was former ambulance driver E. E. Cummings, who rescued him from a dreary adolescence. Now, on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, where there are no roads, he’s learned to drive his own ambulance. Eric’s poetry has appeared in Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. He can be reached at estlin3@yahoo.com.

One response »

  1. I like this blog. Very well done. EE Cummings love interest very elegant

    I’m really down today. On verge of tears or crying. Must b delayed reaction. It makes me sad to realize I’m not going to be ready to be in any new relationships either for a time. Friendships is all I want now.

    Even tho I will miss the good parts of what we had. There were a lot of good parts. I wouldn’t consider taking him back. Been there done that. Doesn’t work.

    Blessings hope I don’t affect your mood but I like talking to you openly

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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