Everything old is new

Young love is sweet to behold, sweeter and sweeter as I grow older. It’s also something of a wonder for a long-married person like me to think back to the beginning—to try to remember—that time—in Septemberwhen love was an emberabout to billow—



[Earworm alert. . . The Fantasticks is always waiting to be sung.]


Back to the Poem-Elfing, which took place at a family wedding last weekend in Washington, D.C. I gave poems to the bride and groom as they got ready. All three poems have been posted here before but they suited this occasion so well I make no apology for the recycling.


The first is from poet Fulvia Lupulo, which I stuck in the bridal mirror:


The bride looks like she’s painting her nails but she’s actually painting rubber cement on the back of pictures of the groom’s older sister who passed away at age fourteen. I can’t remember what exactly the bride was going to do with the photos, but any bride who spends her pre-wedding primping time on thoughtful gestures like this is beautiful indeed.



She took a break from doing her sister’s make-up to pose with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee?”


These lines may be familiar but they never lose power. So gorgeous.



I happened upon the groom in the parking lot, pre-tux. I handed him a favorite little love poem and gave him a rushed explanation of why I wanted to take his picture with it. I don’t think he understood what was going on but I like how he holds the poem like like an “I donated blood today” sticker.


Do not be astonished at my joy. . . 


Congratulations to Jeanne and Anthony! Here’s to young love! May it be old love someday!









  1. Yenny-penny

    I love all the verses above, especially the first one. The verse ‘from the Chinese’ reminds me of my favourite poem by Neruda – Every Day You Play, which ends with:

    ‘I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
    I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.’

    ‘I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees’ has to be one of the most cherishing set of words ever written, promising to love and nurture but not impede, to care for and encourage but not impose, and to do all that with the lightness of touch that spring brings to the cherry trees. Simply sublime love in its purest form.

  2. Tom McGrath

    Well, ‘I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees’ has just captured first place as the line I most wish I’d written. Whew!

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