I agree with Robert Shepard's comments on this poem last
summer. I am up in the years now. When I was 18,19
years old, this poem and other writings like Romans 8 in
the Bible made an impact. What if a man gains the whole
world and does not have hope? People don't know what
is going on in my heart: there is the world that is and there
is the world that we perceive. Did Richard Cory have any
idea about God's mercy? I have had a certain type of
reputation like Richard but I know dark side of things
and the need for forgiveness-for self and for others.
Remember the touching encounter that Jesus had with
a young rich man? He wanted to follow Christ but his heart
preferred the leverage of riches. When the young man walked
away, it was noted that Jesus's heart was tugged.
Richard Cory, you're still around. May there be somebody
who is not deflected by your aura and make an effort
to be your friend.
I regret that I just got on board recently at this site. It shows that Carmie wrote this in
1987. She captures the meaning of the one of the Greek words for love,
'agape.' Such love is self-giving and unconditional, like the word used
in the Bible: John 3: 16. I guess many of us go through the 'slices of
like and lust' in our relationships. I have learned that I wish for the happiness
of my wife. Such an attitude tides me over the picky, whiny urges to make
love a wage. The poem captures the sense of freedom that happens when
I let my wife 'fly, ' knowing that I trust her, and even if she betrays, I
still seek her happiness. The Old Testament paradigm would be the
book of Hosea. The prime example for us all would be the actual self-giving
expression of God on the cross. Thank you, Carmie, for the tender way
you express an important truth.
'An Anthology of German Poetry from Holderln to Rilke in English Translation'
edited by Angel Flores, Anchor Books, NY,1960, provides a variant translation
by Kate Flores. She captures the German sense by correctly using the definite
article for 'sister, ' the reference being to 'der Schwester, ' the sister's shadow,
the moon. Kate Flores translation of the last two lines struck my heart as a
descriptive commentary on young men fighting old men's battle plans:
'The searing flame of the spirit is fed by a mighty sorrow today,
The grandchildren not to be born.' I have some skill in German that has rusted
a little in the years.