True Love by Wislawa Szymborska
True love. Is it normal is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two people
who exist in a world of their own?
Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason,
drawn randomly from millions but convinced
it had to happen this way - in reward for what?
The light descends from nowhere.
Why on these two and not on others?
Doesn't this outrage justice? Yes it does.
Doesn't it disrupt our painstakingly erected principles,
and cast the moral from the peak? Yes on both accounts.
Look at the happy couple.
Couldn't they at least try to hide it,
fake a little depression for their friends' sake?
Listen to them laughing - its an insult.
The language they use - deceptively clear.
And their little celebrations, rituals,
the elaborate mutual routines -
it's obviously a plot behind the human race's back!
It's hard even to guess how far things might go
if people start to follow their example.
What could religion and poetry count on?
What would be remembered? What renounced?
Who'd want to stay within bounds?
True love. Is it really necessary?
Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it in silence,
like a scandal in Life's highest circles.
Perfectly good children are born without its help.
It couldn't populate the planet in a million years,
it comes along so rarely.
Let the people who never find true love
keep saying that there's no such thing.
Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.
Szymborska, Polish Nobel Prize Winner – 2003 my encounter with her is somewhat ‘coincidental’ so much as that I don’t believe in coincident. :) It was the movie Left Turn, Right Turn that leads me to Szymborska work – the Cantonese romance film, stars Takeshi Kaneshiro (Vae’s Bf – LOL!) and Gigi Leung depicts how fate intertwine with our lives and play a large role in it even if we like it or not. The movie was based upon Szymborska ‘Love at First Sight’ something I held close to heart because of the circumstances of life I was in and dealing with then.
As much as fate always plays, we had another encounter thru her work ‘True Love’ early this year – this poem is provoking in every way and notice what you notice from the work – it is truly unique. True love – is it really necessary? How many souls broken by it? How many of us given up hope on it? How many of us turn a cynic by true love? Yet time and time again - I still believe in it. Does it exist – for me – yes it does (ya me the hopeless romantic). Why? Because I believe – “What God put together, no man can divide”.
Jalal ad-Din Rumi wrote this and I find it very beautiful -
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere; they are in each other all along”
May all of you find your true love along your journey in life because nothing is ever too late when you encounter true love. :)
p/s: Her work 'The Three Oddest Word', one of her nobel prize winning selection - is profound for contemplation should any of you love poetry that way.