Love Without Hope, Robert Graves

I went down a bit of an internet rabbit hole trying to choose today’s poem. I remembered I had read a beautiful poem many years ago at a friend’s wedding but I cannot remember which one it was. Cue, endless searching on the internet for wedding poems, unusual wedding poems, anonymous love poems (I think it was by an anonymous poet), random words from the poem. Utterly pointless except the children got excited thinking I was getting married. And now my browser is full of wedding (and dating) ads! In desperation I went to a couple of books of love poetry I have, but still nothing strikes a memory. It may be lost forever. Although I think I might have a copy of it at my mum’s house in a box somewhere. Never mind. Whilst flicking aimlessly through poetry books, I did stumble across this poem, which I had forgotten about and that I really love. Not sure what appeals to me about it, I think the imagery is very evocative. Or the tightness of it that reveals so much through saying so little. I think I first read in on the underground, as part of the Poems on the Underground series. I love the serendipitous nature of Poems on the Underground. It also is close to my heart as when the series started (in 1986 what?? really that long ago!), there was some link with Queen Mary, University of London library where my father was librarian. And I remember him being given one of the early collections. So I have soft spot for it and always read the poems, as well as reading them to the children (who are probably less appreciative but may thank me one day!). So it is this short poem for today, which is probably just as well since I have spent hours fruitlessly internet searching and now it is super late. Maybe I will find the other poem some day, or maybe not. It’s all good. It’s all about serendipity.

Love Without Hope

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher
Swept off his tall hat to the Squire’s own daughter,
So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly
Singing about her head, as she rode by.

1925 from The Welchman’s Hose

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