Original poem reprinted online here: "Life in a Love" by Robert Browning
Originally read: December 8, 2012
More information about the Poet: Robert Browning
I'm not one for love poems, however, I wanted to reread this one (look at my notes) to figure out something. The end is vastly different from the beginning in terms of tone. In the beginning, I note the sequence as, "a brief sussinct [sic] conversation -- or monologue -- which kind of disavows argument. Partly romantic...partly stalkerism [sic]"?
That last word, hmm nah. Anyways, that's how I read love poems mostly -- kind of romantic, kind of stalkerish. It's not that the love poem is bad or anything like that -- but the poem (usually) is confined to one perspective, which usually, pines, laments, honors, worships, wants, desires. I'm cool with reading something like that once in a while, but poems that are too lost in the moment are lost within themselves -- there's no room for a reader's insight there.
Anyway, this poem is not a love poem in that sense; The last lines going from:
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new on, straight to the self-same makr,
I shape me--
change the poem. "Self-same mark" interests me because, "in reference to falling for the same love, the same tricks again. And telling yourself (hopelessly) that you won't." Of course there are poems that deal with the loss of love, but I get the sense, from this poem, there isn't a sense of bitterness. Loneliness, of course, but it's not stated, maybe hyperbolized with the dark references -- but not outright stated. It's a light lonliness poem or a dark love poem...maybe both.