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In Species, Darling

I'm getting married in nine days, so lately I've been reading a lot of poems about love and marriage. 

Here's some John Ciardi for everyone to enjoy. . .

In Species, Darling by Ciardi

In species, darling, consider how the whale,
a cousin of a sort, once paddled,
as we did yesterday, in summer shallows,

and then went deep. It did not tire, as we did,
of salt that first braced and then stung.
Something called it out and us back,

each to the thing nearest its happiness
as each finds it. I thank you for my kind
against the belittling sea. In idiom

one says, "I love you." Idiom, however,
is the skin of meaning. At whole body depth
we are tropisms, the way each species has

of turning toward some things and away from others.
I turn to you and tremble to a balance.
Or turn and tip to that beam-breaking sea.

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"Pace e bene" to you both!

It's a bit older, but Tertullian composed a reflection on marriage for his wife. I blogged on it last summer: http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2006/07/22/115360527299466423/B... nuptials to you both, Anna.

Anna:Blessings on you and your husband to be!

I can only assume that if you have time to wax lyrical nine days before your wedding, someone else is handling the nuptial arrangements and cracking the Valium? Can you tell I was never a romantic? :-)Nevertheless, I wish you blessings and that you are still readng these same poems nine years hence--and 29, and 39 and beyond.

Best wishes!Btw, Ciardi's essay on translating the Divine Comedy is an interesting read (I think it's the preface to his Inferno).But it's not this sublime.

Anna,Blessings and congratulations. I was suprised by the Tertullian poem. It seems to apply to each Christian relationship as well. But I would tread lightly on Tertullian, Anna. He was part of the misogyinist crowd that was popular until modern times. Here is what he wrote about women: De Cultu Feminarum,' section I.I, part 2 (trans. C.W. Marx): "Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.