‘Love’s Philosophy’ – Shelley

[  # 92 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Dicksee-Paolo & Francesca

‘Paola & Francesca’ by John Dicksee

Love’s Philosophy  . . .  By Percy Bysshe Shelley


The fountains mingle with the river 

   And the rivers with the ocean, 

The winds of heaven mix for ever 

   With a sweet emotion; 

Nothing in the world is single; 

   All things by a law divine 

In one spirit meet and mingle. 

   Why not I with thine?— 

See the mountains kiss high heaven 

   And the waves clasp one another; 

No sister-flower would be forgiven 

   If it disdained its brother; 

And the sunlight clasps the earth 

   And the moonbeams kiss the sea: 

What is all this sweet work worth 

   If thou kiss not me? 



The Borderlands of POETRY – 1

closeup photo of assorted title books

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


An introspective week, during which I inspect the reasons and beliefs which govern my poetry.

I have recently been made to look more closely at my understanding of these on giving consideration to the words of that controversial Canadian academic, clinical psychologist, and considerable YouTube presence, Jordan Peterson.  In particular I have been led to consider a statement of his regarding his assertion of what poetry is and what the poet is attempting to do.

“We live in the finite and comprehensible but are surrounded by the infinite and incomprehensible and there has to be a border between those…like a mediating border… That’s poetry and art, that’s narrative and religion.” Jordan Peterson.

The background to his thinking on this and on related topics can be better understood by listening to a College Q and A on the subject of  ‘Free Speech, Racism, & Religion’ and published on YouTube – (or see below . . . )

The particular view which Peterson expressed , which I quote above, can be found at approximately 17.00 minutes in.  It has given me cause to consider my own impetus and purposes in writing poetry, some thoughts on which I will try to present on ‘Roland’s Ragbag’ throughout this week. 




The Reclusive Man


I am not a driven man
Consumed by purpose
I have ambled along life’s path
No particular aim in mind
I take no pride in not being assertive
For I have let life happen
Not forced its course
Little guidance have I sought
Or been offered
Little forethought have I given
I steered no path between the tides
To avoid the quicksands
Or to avoid being tempted by the Sirens’ wail
I was not confronted with
Scylla and Charybdis
I would have baulked with indecision
And without a philosophy
Religion no longer holding any sway with me
No politics to speak of
An indolent practitioner of life
Without imperative
Perhaps too conscious
Of everyone else’s point of view
For this no doubt I’ll pay a price
And when the final reckoning comes
They’ll say “He never cared”
But they will be wrong.
I cared too much to confront
My irresolution
And now I suffer for it.