In a 4000-years old poetry, written on the first line, ,”Bridegroom, dear to my heart, Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet, You have captivated me, let me stand trembling before you; Bridegroom, I would be taken to the bedchamber.”

“And so ended his affection,” said Elizabeth impatiently.
“There has been many a one, i fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!”
“I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,” said Darcy.

“Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Every thing nourishes what is strong alredy. But if it be only slight, thin sort of inclination, i am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”

Blinding Love

Blind love seems to be born since we could see the sun. Love affair with poetry seems to be born since the first time we built our temple. In 1880, a clay tablet, contained one of the first sentence recorded in human history, was found in the ancient city of Nippur, Iraq. In a 4000-years old poetry, written on the first line, ,”Bridegroom, dear to my heart, Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet, You have captivated me, let me stand trembling before you; Bridegroom, I would be taken to the bedchamber.”’

Of course the hermeneutics takes its role here. That erotic poetry is a spell that was spoken by a female priest on a fertility ritual. Ancient Sumerian fertility ritual is usually a repetition of the sexual encounter between Inana, the fertility and love goddess with Durmuzi, a shepherd. The ritual is held once a year by a female priest who acts as Inana and the ruling king as Durmuzi.

Ancient Greece people had so much definition of love in many categories. Philia is for the love between friends, Agape is for spiritual love, and Eros is for erotic love. Modern people would see it as grouping, but the early society saw it from a different perspective. All of them are completing each other to represent love itself in which symposium Plato was mentioned as the eldest God. Inana Poetry is just an artifact of that belief.

The unity of love is delivered to our daily life by ancient Egypt’s poetry, and also, in the Song of Solomon verse in the book of the Old Testament. The transcendence is always harder to be defined and we choose to pictured it into some kind of form which is more acceptable and understandable, that is love. Just look at one part of the Song of Solomon:

“I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?”

Inana’s poetry or Song of Solomon may not be called a poetry for some people. The others may be failed to see the spiritualism on it, but it is obvious that they are translating love. Love which needs no explanation, love which burns us to marrow. Blind love to Pico, a Renaissance writer, is a form of the highest glorification to The Supreme. ”Let us enter into the light of ignorance and, blinded by the darkness of divine splendour” he said.


Little Things

Acep Iwan Saidi, a poet, said that love itself was poetry of its own. Both are mystical experiences which translated in daily ritual. Hence their presence are not often recognized. To find it is asceticism of Zen monks. Which foot do you step first when you go out? How many phone numbers are saved on you cellphone? How many people have you ever loved? We already see every day daily as an external experience. Poetry is a blurry portrait.

See Rumi’s poetry, he honestly explains that love in fact is non-language. Language helps us find little things around us:



There is a trick known by poets which is called kokofoni. Kokofoni is the dominant use of vocal letters especially in the end of the line which could make us strangely and unexplainably feel happy. This trick are usually used in love poetry. Magician is a man’s blood, kitsch flowing instinctively to us.


What was said to the rose that made it open was said

to me here in my chest.

What was told the cypress that made it strong

and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made

sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in

Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush

like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in

language, that’s happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,

chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!


Cintaku jauh di pulau, gadis manis, sekarang iseng sendiri
Perahu melancar, bulan memancar,
di leher kukalungkan ole-ole buat si pacar.
angin membantu, laut terang, tapi terasa
aku tidak ‘kan sampai padanya.

Di air yang tenang, di angin mendayu,
di perasaan penghabisan segala melaju
Ajal bertakhta, sambil berkata:
“Tujukan perahu ke pangkuanku saja,”

Amboi! Jalan sudah bertahun ku tempuh!
Perahu yang bersama ‘kan merapuh!
Mengapa Ajal memanggil dulu
Sebelum sempat berpeluk dengan cintaku?!

Manisku jauh di pulau,
kalau ‘ku mati, dia mati iseng sendiri.

Chairil Anwar1946


Émile Bernard Madeleine au Bois d’Amour. Madeline in the forest of love 1888


A contemporary poet, Marilyn Hacker, once stated “trick” of love poems. She said that love poems are usually containing seduction, about the behavior which is caused by love, and never about what love is. In the end, love poems could also be non-universal. There is not any same experience. There is no such thing as cliché. Layla Majnum and Romeo Juliet could verse almost the same, but never feel the same. The poets lie to us.

Wisely, Efek Rumah Kaca, the band, state that “falling in love is common”. The fact that we usually find poetries about jealousy, uncertainty, and anger which is followed by separation may only be a literary intelligence. At the end, it is still not possible to do love through poem. We are too stubborn to admit and conservatively resist such enlightenment. That kind of resistance is the greatest success achieved by love poem. We don’t know if the well-known poem Bright Star could eternized Fanny Brawne’s love towards John Keats but at least it could perfectly eternize our perception about love


The Swing (after Fragonard) 2001 Yinka Shonibare, MBE born 1962 Purchased 2001

What remained in Pandora Jar

I was disturbed by Acep Iwan Saidi’s words when we’re chattering, “Because the principal of every poem is to find love, then it would die after meet the purpose. When I marry my wife, I quit writing poem to make her happy.”

The answer from a poet is, obviously, problematic answer because it is way too philosophical as well. Is happy love an oxymoron? Why is loving not the same with making happy? At that point, I started to think modestly. I suddenly feel like never stop writing until the time comes for me to makes the loved one happy. Time to be charmed. Love poems could possibly fail all the time but they will always be written to keep what Pandora left in its jar. The abstract essence called hope.

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