Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Othello's Deathbed Curse-Redux

I originally wrote this poem after a painful breakup some years ago...in light of recent events in my life, it's amazing how this still holds up.

Loved too well—
Nay, accuse me not.
For I have loved enough
And then some;
But never too well.
For my heart,
Blinded by love,
Fails at discernment—‘tis true.
For this crime,
I am most guilty certain;
Punish me most severe.
For the severest penalty
Cannot equal the pains I’ve suffered
Or loves unrequited;
Nor match the bitter pill
Or sourest medicine
Of unwarranted affection
Or unmerited scorn.

Oh yes, curse the day—
Love made its acquaintance
Of me,
Only to make me a fool;
Or worser yet,
A wretched pawn
With wounded ego
And battered heart.

Oh yes, curse the day
I first set eyes on that
Which is called woman
And felt the first spark of desire,
Only to have it snuffed out
By unrecognized eye
Or unreturned affection.
Oh yes, curse the day
And again, I say, curse,
With ever-fervent zeal,
The day, not that I was born,
But that I have not died,
From Cupid’s arrows flung;
Only to have their mission aborted,
Their intent gone astray,
Leaving me naked and ashamed,
Empty of all feeling,
Having drained the well of tears dry.

Loved too well, nay,
I have loved well enough,
Only to be haunted time
And time again.
Nay, I repeat the aforementioned curse.
Curse, I say,
Love and all its vile affectations
Or affections, if you will,
Or not, it matters none.

Curse, my already bleeding heart,
For availing itself to be made vulnerable;
Made susceptible to love’s deceits
And woman’s charms;
I say, curse the woman,
The weaker sex indeed!
Only in stopping short of inflicting pain
Rather with dagger sharp or poison sweet
Or bullet swift;
Than with the pains of scorn or rejection—
Which, in contrast, last the longer
And inflict not death.
Yes, all of this and more,
I say, curse,
And I say it again,
With all that is within me,

© Joseph Powell

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