Now and later: best wishes from Poem Elf

My nephew got married a few weeks ago in a joyful rumpus of a wedding followed by a mellower brunch the next day. I waited till the last minute to poem-elf the couple, and then I was disappointed I couldn’t get in their locked car to hide poems.  But it worked out.  In the absence of rice, confetti and clattering beer cans, I attached two poems to their car bumper for a quieter but more romantic send-off.



The first poem, Coleridge’s “Answer to a Child’s Question”  captures the giddy joy of the couple, who have known each other since grade school and still seem delighted to be in each other’s presence:


At the risk of love overkill, I love the line,  “I love my Love, and my Love loves me!”  Such a simple sentence, but it trips off the tongue like a jumprope rhyme.


In tribute to the bride and groom’s parents, both long-married, I left Grace Paley’s “Here. ”  I left the poem also as a happy forecast for the newlyweds’  future:


I don’t know if the newlyweds much liked this second poem—they removed it and hid it in my sister’s car before they left.  Ceci’s far being a woman “in the old style”—Paley’s heavy breasts, stout thighs and nicely mapped face—but she does have grandchildren on her lap and a husband she still loves.  Let me say to the newlyweds, in case this second poem didn’t please you:  I can’t wish you any better happiness than this beautiful expression of long-married love.


I  like how the two poems work together:  the first is joyful but controlled and structured, like a wedding, like visions newlyweds have of their married life.   Paley’s poem is as loose as her figure.  It speaks of a love just as vibrant as Coleridge’s but one that’s relaxed and settled in.


I didn’t get a picture of the bride and groom in all their glory, but I did get a picture that will give you a good idea of how fun this celebration was:


Yes, it was a pop the pins out of your updo kind of party.  Whosever bobby pins these are sure didn’t miss them on the dance floor.


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