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Valentine's Day × Goose Lane

Love is in the air, and at Goose Lane we would like to celebrate with some timely love poetry from Patricia Young’s Amateurs at Love and some love letters from Canadian poets from Where the Nights are Twice as Longedited by David Eso and Jeanette Lynes.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about love:

What does it mean to be in love?

"What does love mean? The girl asked. The boy shook his head. They were sitting on the steps of the church with five green domes, passing a bottle of beer back and forth. Earlier a wedding party had poured like white foam through the arched doorway. Rice and confetti littered the steps. Well, what do you think it means? I think, he said, then paused to drink some beer … I think it means a boxcar going off the rails, grain spilling down a gully, fermenting over summer, a bear gorging on that grain, passing out in a field, a bear that could wake at any moment, hungover and thirsty and ready to kill for a drop of water." (Amateurs at Love)

What are the mysteries that come with love?

"A woman in a long white coat is walking across a frozen lake toward the grand hotel on the opposite shore. Snow dusts the hills. The man waiting for her in the sixth-floor suite has been waiting for years, bread cooling on a board, wine uncorked. The temperature rises. Rain begins to fall. Eyes fixed on the hotel’s tiny rectangles of light, the woman keeps walking.With each footstep her heart beats faster. Melting ice cracks beneath her weight. A chambermaid bearing fresh towels knocks on the man’s door. A mist falls over the lake. Nothing is visible now -- not the snow-dusted hills or the woman in the long white coat. What happens next? Does she sink below the horizon? Do the man and the chambermaid marry the following summer beneath an airy tent? What kind of story is this anyway? Does the grand hotel endure?" (Amateurs at Love)

How is it that we fall in love?

What Strange Enchantment

What strange enchantment
Out of Faery
Or the land of flowers
Have you woven over me three times
That the sly glances of your eyes
Are the meshes of a net
For my limbs
And the dark sheen of your hair
Candle light
For my moth thoughts
And your white breasts
Twin moons
To draw my tides?

-- (A.J.M)


Does how we love change through time?

And in Our Time

A world flew in my mouth with our first kiss
And it’s wings were dipped in all the flavours of grief.
Oh my darling, tell me, what can love mean in such a world,
And what can we or any lovers hold in this immensity
Of hate and broken things?
Now it is down, down, that’s where your kiss travels me,
And, as a world tumbling shocks the theories of spheres,
So this love is like falling glass shaking with stars
The air which tomorrow, or even today, will be
A slow, terrible movement of scars. (Phyllis Webb)

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