07 February 2011


LOVE IN POETRY. I'm rediscovering, or discovering for the first time, the pulsing heart and perceptual genius of Edna St. Vincent Millay (see yesterday's post for her poem Travel). She led an adventurous and fascinating personal life, reflected in her poetry. Here are two examples.


My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night,
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light.


Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor mend the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.

LOVE IN BIOLOGY. Coming from an entirely different direction (or perhaps not), here is an excellent summary of the neuroanatomy and physiology of love, Your Brain In Love, broken down by active brain regions, blood levels and effects, heightened cognitive functions, and brain chemicals and effects -- all bound up in the hormonal and neurotransmitter dance of love. A different, but no less compelling, kind of poetry. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

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