When it comes to finding writings about love, Ireland has no shortage of inspired writings. The question is, who encapsulates what you want to say the most?
If you are looking for romance, Irish writers have solidified themselves as some of the best to top when it comes to expressing themselves in matters of the heart. I’m not sure why their words have so much more poignancy than others, but they seem to hit home in a way that other cultures seem to miss.
There are dozens of respectable writers, many of whom are male, who put the task of summing up their amorous feelings in short prose into an art-form. Some of these men are Patrick Kavanagh, Austin Clark, Paul Durcan and William Butler Yeats.
One of the most beautiful segments that I have read of Yeats’ comes from his poem entitled, “When You are Old.”
“How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”
In this short section, Yeats describes a love that is eternal and faithful. He is deeply aware of the many facets of lovers that one will encounter throughout life by his mention of false or true experiences. He does explain that he has always loved their pilgrim soul, which the way I understand it, is who this person really is at their rawest.
For the men who love their women when they are sick, frail, with no make-up and even as they age gracefully, this poem is for them. It describes an unchanging love, one that accepts and loves regardless. Yeats was an ultimate romantic, but he was definitely not alone.
Eavan Boland wrote a poem entitled “Love.” Her sentiments touch the heart when she articulates phrases that move us affectedly as an audience and even inspires us to find that kind of love in our lives. She wrote:
“I am your wife.
It was years ago.
Our child was healed. We love each other still.
Across our day-to-day and ordinary distances
we speak plainly. We hear each other clearly.
And yet I want to return to you.”
Maybe all you really need is love.
These are the verses that we need in our lives especially on a day like Valentine Day’s. Hearing that the choice that one made in deciding to love us was not only the one that they are most committed to still, but that it is also one that has given them a purpose in life, is something that makes any of us realize how truly fortunate we are. Love is probably one of the best reasons to even be alive and if we can find it with the right person, it can make even the worst situations of life seem bearable.