The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved
past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.
Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.
Wow. This poem by Derek Walcott is a new favorite because of how intensely it captures these feelings of infatuation that can catch you at any moment. The movie Love, Actually has a scene like this. The little boy has admitted to his stepfather that he’s been quiet and withdrawn because he’s in love. Relieved, his step-dad ruffles his hair, saying he thought it was something worse. The boy, puzzled, responds with “worse than the total agony of being in love?” And sometimes yeah, total agony is the best way to describe it. But sometimes its comforting to know that you’re not alone in feeling that way.