And I Love Her Still

I found a note from one remembered love,
It’s one she’d written many years ago.
She’d washed her fountain pen and had to see
if it would write just like it used to do!

It flowed so beautifully, this conversation
partly with herself; partly me.
Contented, she announced the startling news
that it had started raining; and the cat
had just come in to sit upon her knee;
and then a line, ’twas almost incidental,
as if she didn’t need to let me know,
still moist from her sweet, honeyed pen,
I saw her words say how she loved me so.

My yearning heart took flight and lodged itself
somewhere between her lips and finger tips,
my stomach glowed with love’s eternal warmth
that only comes from passion so consumed.

Her letter’s affirmation spans the years
with warm remembered grace that dries my tears.
Her words were sown like seeds on fertile earth
and bore the fruits of love in painful birth.

No greater confirmation could reveal
that I am blessed with how I know I feel…

that, undeniably, I love her still.

© 2013 John Anstie

[For someone special on Valentines Day…]

[Poetics Notes: This poem is written in, what is for me, an anchor of poetic story telling… Blank Verse. This was championed by William Shakespeare in all of his plays, but apparently was also used, in some way by Greek and Latin poets.

By definition, Shakespearean blank verse is written with five metrical ‘feet’ (that is units of two syllables) or pentameter, it is mostly, in this poem at any rate, ‘Iambic’, which is to say with stress on the second part of each metrical foot. Occasionally, in order to maintain the sense, from the words available to me to achieve the desired effect, emotion or expression, the meter changes to ‘trochaic’ pentameter and occasionally with the odd syllable missing, or silent – as in the line “partly with herself; partly me.”, where the semicolon provides a pause, which replaces the unstressed first part of the foot, linking to the second, stressed first syllable of the word “partly..”; the beginning of this same line has a missing unstressed syllable, which is effectively replaced by the last syllable of the word “conversation” at the end of the previous line. The effectiveness of this deviation from the scheme, of course, depends on how the line is read, but I think it works well!

Whilst it still has regular poetic rhythm and balance, using this form is a wonderful way for a poet to retain the feel of story telling prose, by not having a regular rhyme scheme. The exception I make for this poem, however, again following the Bard’s tendency for their use, is that I used three rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter in the concluding lines of the piece and one at the end of the second stanza. The poem finishes with a single title line.]

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle. His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
This entry was posted in Blank Verse, Love, poem, poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to And I Love Her Still

  1. Raven says:

    A great depth of warmth in this lovely poem.


  2. brian miller says:

    do those feelings ever really leave? though at times we try…smiles.

    i rather like that you (she) captures the mundane in the letter…and they are spectacular…the rain, the cat…and then she loves you…to me that says much of the love…and the feel…


    • PoetJanstie says:

      It was quite a unique situation, both the original reading years ago and the reading that prompted this poem. You put your finger on it, when you say “(she) captures the mundane in the letter…” and “…then she loves you”. Ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. Thanks for commenting, Brian.


  3. eden baylee says:

    Beautiful, John. Perfect, really.


  4. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Lovely! Thank you.


  5. Louise says:

    Lovely, John….wonderful to still be in love 🙂


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