So begins the poem Divides by Eric M. Vogt, a piece that I return to read now and then. In short and seamless lines any manner of things loved and lost are conjured up for the reader, and although it is Valentine’s Day, loss has long been a poetic side to love.
There are surely as many beautiful poems of loss as there are of love, and the stories that compel us almost never contain love alone. Those stories contain uncertainty, regret, transience, and the irrevocable loss itself, where sadness serves as a tribute and brings us to question endings.
What is an ending? Fatigue, alienation, death?
“Love is a many splendoured thing”, and the ending of loves throughout history has been a great mover of men, cities, and countries. Divides brought all this and more to mind. And it ends with a tantalizing reference to memory, the only place where things that have ended may survive.
There are not the sounds within the forest that there used to be.
Though the Historian can conjure up all that was – the poplar children, shy yet bold, the ageing men within the oaks, the rowan women who pretended indifference – this is but the virtue of a mind wed to the past.
And what the Historian conjures, like the lightest of veils, drifts away when a wind sweeps past without a mutter of leaves or the scurrying of small things. (more…)