Yesterday, on Black Friday (the biggest shopping day of the year), as I sat in my car in Lord & Taylor’s parking lot (waiting for the line of cars ahead of me to move), I turned on the radio and heard Eydie Gorme sing “I’ll Take Romance.” I remember my mom singing that song and, as I sat in the line of cars, I thought about "romance" as a topic for poems. There are, of course, many ways to interpret “romance,” and there are all kinds of love to write about. Let's give it a go this week.
Before you begin writing, consider some possibilities:
First Romance/First Love
Long Distance Love
Love of Your Life
There are also “romances” that involve a mysterious or fascinating appeal (i.e., an adventure or something uniquely beautiful). Have you ever had a romance with: a particular time in history, the sea, the stars, or nature? These are a different kind of romance and needn’t involve romantic love at all.
Another kind of romance poem is the metrical romance that was popular during the High Renaissance. A literary preference among the aristocracy and upper classes, metrical romances typically related tales of knights and their various adventures and trials. Courtly love was a typical metrical romance theme, but romantic love was not prerequisite for a metrical romance. Not exactly what I have in mind for this week's poem, but if the form interests you, why not?
- You might begin by making a list of “romances” that you’ve had.
- Reflect on your list and select one of the romances to write about.
- You might want to do a free write to get started.
- Don’t let your poem become a typical “love poem.”
- Work to create levels of meaning, and be sure to avoid sentimentality and “mush.”
- Even if your poem is a narrative poem, it should do more than simply tell a story.
- The story is the material of the poem, and you need to do something special with that material (often, as you work with a poem, you discover what its “story” is about (not simply what the story is, but what the story means).
And this gem filled with mystery and nuance
by Italian translator and poetAlessandro Pancirolli
You Get Closer, We Should Not ...
I thought to be out of this maze. I thought to
Be out of this
That I am now writing.
You look at me. You smile. "You get closer ,
we should not..."
We know what to expect , a fine rain , we in hurrying, The Rule.*
It's raining hardly, the wind has ceased,
The storm is far away...
You cry, you smile at me, you cry.
We walk embraced under the tall plane trees.
On the riverside.
Ho pensato di essere fuori da questo labirinto. ho pensato
di essere fuori da questo
che sto ora scrivo
Mi guardi. Sorridi." Ti avvicini,
Sappiamo cosa aspettarci , una pioggia sottile, abbiamo fretta, La Regola*
Piove appena, il vento è cessato,
la tempesta è lontana ...
Tu piangi, mi sorridi, piangi.
camminiamo abbracciati sotto i platani alti.