‘Love stands with Death’ explores the similar ways in which we respond to love and death. They both make us cry, both cause us to think deeply about others that are close to us, both thrive on human interaction. We fear the end of one and the arrival of the other. Both have the power to make us mourn.
My poetic exploration of the similarities between these two concepts encompasses how we respond to, celebrate and rely on these two awkward bedfellows. I created images that have dual meanings such as ‘Believers’ paths with blossom petals strewn’ and ‘Pure flesh discoloured with voracious bites’. These could be descriptions of the impact of either Love or Death.
Whilst the first two quatrains play on the similarities between Love and Death, the third and final quatrain brings them into conflict with one another. They become two gladiators chained together. In mortal combat.
But, the final couplet brings both twist and resolution – as the final couplet of a sonnet often does. Neither of these personifications will be allowed to perish because human existence depends on, and is hugely defined by, both Love and Death.
Love stands with Death Love stands with Death. They prey on common fears: The end of things, the acrid taste of loss, Crushed shells of dreams, evaporated tears, The barb that knows the aim but not the cost. Love trips with Death. They witness the same sights: Believers’ paths with blossom petals strewn, Pure flesh discoloured with voracious bites, Crazed souls that wander blinded by the moon. Love fights with Death when their desires collide; Wild gladiators armed with sword and shield, Who slash their blades while to each other tied With chains so neither can escape. Nor yield. But when each battle’s fought, the thumb is raised; The mob would sure erupt if one’s erased.