What though the radiance
Which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
Of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human sympathy;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring back the philosophic mind.
*** William Wordsworth
I believe there's much destiny presumed when parents wisely picked a name for their child -- full of "will" and a great wordsmith of tremendous worth indeed, bequeathed so freely to all future generations who only need to find time, to "stop and stare".
Is this a good time to recall your First Love?
At what age did you go dating, at what age did you summon enough courage in composing a poem dedicated to her? At what age did you steal the first kiss?
Mine happened at the tender age of 13, I think. She recited Wordsworth's lines, and lightning struck.
It was a 1961 production about a young girl called Deanie, who I believe suffers from mental breakdowns as she goes through the ups and downs of life, falling in love with a college mate named ..... (I can't remember, and why should I?), played by Warren Beatty. Did I fall for Deanie, or for the actress named Natalie Wood, who was nominated for an academy award for her role. So I undersatnd why some men (boys?) fall for older women. It works both ways, and this is a failing, or is it an asset, quite rampant among writers, especially the romantic poets to which Wordsworth belonged.
Another buddy and I would catch Natalie (yeh, I took the liberty of using her first name basis only, intimate remember? ...) in almost all her movies -- West Side Story (a modern Romeo and Juliet), This Property is Condemned, and more -- hey any NW fan out there, lend me any of her movies in whatever format, just give me an Email (or fe-mail), at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I was a lucky lad as a teenager as I had some not-so-lucky friends from our Village who already started working after Primary 6. One generous guy often treated us to satay and the occasional movie from early secondary school days, and I blamed him for my First Love encounter that didn't move from the virtual to the physical.
But there was a great benefit, as Wordsworth led me to other English poets, like Robert Browning (1812-1889), and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861), and of course, William Shakespeare, and American poets like Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, whose pre-occupation with Love and Nature must have infected me, leading me down the exciting path with the wayward wind.
If thou knoweth not how to compose like desiderata, borrow some from Elizabeth's lines for your next Valentine card:
How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
To Mack and other machos, try some, it works! My secret recipe.
I'll part with my theme anthem, one stanza from the Bee Gees' First of May:
"When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
We used to love while others used to play.
Don't ask me why, the time just passed us by,
Someone else moved in from far away ...
Nostalgic lyrics, haunting tune, times when I think of my First Love.
I shall write on My Real First Love tomorrow. Stay tuned.