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.