Sunday, November 2, 2014

O love is the crooked thing

from Madonna of the Pomegranate by
Sandro Botticelli

I don't ever pick up pennies anymore, when I see them in the street. They're sad bits of forgotten copper carrying none of the possibility they once had when I was a little girl. This morning, while I hung up clothes in my closet, I felt something cold on my toe, felt a shiver of revulsion thinking it was a bug, a bit of something or other, but when I looked down, I saw a penny, a drab penny, and still not convinced, I touched it with my toe and felt, again, its cool. All of this happens all at once, the cold, the frisson, the cold again, the reaching for it and luck to follow.

I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon. 

William Butler Yeats

A penny for your thoughts. 


  1. "One cannot begin it too soon."
    And oh, how the heart yearns to love from first breath to last. And to be loved in return.

  2. Like Theresa, I always pick up pennies. I think seeing value in a penny is a sort of metaphorical thing -- a way of seeing value in all the "little things" of life. Oh, and I am also a cheapskate. :)

  3. that of my favorite paintings of forever. and the gorgeous Yeats. it is shamefully easy to forget beauty.



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