Friday, June 26, 2009


I began my hunt for readings for the wedding a few days ago. I found quite a boon of reading ideas over on indiebride. I thought I'd share the poems and quotes which have thus far given me lovely chills, or just seem to describe our relationship so beautifully. Here goes.

My sister initially introduced me to this poem when she was playing around with invitation mock-ups. I feel a lovely shiver up my spine every time I read it. I don't know how well it would work as a reading read aloud by a friend or family member, but I want to incorporate it somewhere, somehow.

Understand, I'll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

This next quote so perfectly describes how I view our upcoming marriage. I'm somewhat tempted to have our officiant incorporate this in his speech.

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

-from Union by Robert Fulghum

Here's another Rainer Maria Rilke poem. Apparently I seriously dig his style, except maybe I should say that in a more intelligent-sounding manner. Whatever. I'm not at my liberal arts school anymore. It's okay. I like the violin reference, seeing as I'm a violinist/fiddler.

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.

- Love Song, Rainer Maria Rilke

Oh, ee cummings. I love your bizarre formatting.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

- i carry your heart with me, ee cummings

Mmmm, I love this one. I think its message is true, and the imagery of the trees with intertwining roots is so perfect, since we shall marry between two great bur oaks.

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

-Louis de Bernieres

Also, I love Ogden Nash. The first time I encountered this poem was when Garrison Keillor read it aloud one night on NPR as I drove back to campus on a Sunday night, after spending the weekend at home with Opie. I don't think I'll actually be using this one, but it makes me smile every time I think of it. I can't help but share. Read it twice or thrice through. It deserves it.

This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

- My Dream, Ogden Nash

Here, enjoy a few more lovely Ogden Nash ditties.

Geniuses of countless nations
Have told their love for generations
Till all their memorable phrases
Are common as goldenrod or daisies.
Their girls have glimmered like the moon,
Or shimmered like a summer moon,
Stood like a lily, fled like a fawn,
Now the sunset, now the dawn,
Here the princess in the tower
There the sweet forbidden flower.
Darling, when I look at you
Every aged phrase is new,
And there are moments when it seems
I've married one of Shakespeare's dreams.

- Reprise, Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong admit it;
Whenever you're right shut up.

- Ogden Nash

Simple but beautiful:

I am yours. You are mine.
Of this we are certain.
You are lodged in my heart, the small key is lost.
You must stay there forever.

- Frau Ava

It's all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, --
Someone the sum could tell, --
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.
- Emily Dickinson

I declare
that I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied interests wins the war;
I shall love you always.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think I'm most favoring the first Rainer Maria Rilke poem, the Robert Fulghum quote, and the Louis de Bernieres quote. What are your thoughts?


The World War cook said...

Link attached to some of the worst (read: funniest) wedding poetry advice. Full of fabulous English errors.

Maria said...

Robert Fulghum is my vote. i've seen/heard a lot, but there's a reason! :)