Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

To Love Another is Easy (A Poem)

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To Love Another is Easy (A Poem)

Poets love talking about love, and what better occasion than today to remind writers and readers of the authority of the heart and imagination, the beauty of natural phenomena, the experience of sublimity available to us on earth with every encounter.

I am not so much a romantic at heart as I am a Romanticist: a believer in the primacy of inspiration expressed in a Faustian aspiration after the sublime; a person who accepts contingency and spontaneity, intuition and feeling, the picturesque. I am nostalgic not for the old, but for the ever-changing present; I celebrate knowledge and what can be known, as well as the ambiguity of things, the possibilities that lay just ahead.

Truth be told, I have always found love poetry proper a bit strange; how and why express one’s utmost private sentiments for the world to see? And yet, would a world without poetry of love be a more inhabitable one? In any case, poems of love are strongest when they become enactments of sympathy, I think, as opposed to eternal oaths to the other. They share a sense of sacrifice as reward; of giving as a receiving gesture. And for this occasion, I share with you a poem in progress that is neither for love birds or lone birds, but all. May we give thanks for our companions, family and friends (and if we are single, dedicate ourselves to Rousseauian idleness and peace, and indulging in the finer pleasures of life without apology).

To Love Another is Easy

but to turn love towards the self and say
to it
is most difficult

I can choose to affirm love in the other
feel the exaltation
become devoured by desire
the impulse to be happy
start projecting mad visions of the future
or I can follow its tunnel

choose to surmount all odds
of being unloving
towards myself,
get to know the formless abode
of my corporeal versatility
whose function is sought
only in a turning towards
so that at the end of the road
I will not have asked the other

to be the destination,
the end-all of my heart's beginning,
content of all poems
I must affirm

not the contingency of desire
but the affirmation of myself

affirm the desire to live
and then say to the other: yes, I am able to love you

I am.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Adebe D.A.

Adebe D.A. is a writer whose words travel between Toronto and New York. She recently completed her MA at York University, where she also served as Assistant Editor for the arts and literary journal, Existere. Her debut poetry collection, Ex Nihilo, was published this year by Frontenac House, and subsequently longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under 30.

Go to Adebe D.A.’s Author Page