I was recently the matron of honor in my best friend’s wedding. Leave it to me to forget, until a day before the wedding, that I had to write a speech.
Thankfully, poetry came to the rescue. Writing might be hard, but interpreting poetry is something I feel a bit better about, these days, and the final line from Jack Gilbert’s The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart has been haunting me since I first read it.
Rather than rehashing the entire speech, I’ll just say that I think love is expressed differently by every person who expresses it, and sometimes that expression is unexpected or, to outsiders, mundane.
I feel pretty strongly about destroying genre boundaries and high brow/low brow distinctions, so the idea that anything is trivial just doesn’t resonate with me. Who is this grand arbiter of taste that gets to decide whether something is meaningful or not?
I might have some bitterness attached to this issue. Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(I found a fake etymology for this word, but, oddly enough, couldn’t find a real one.)
Beautiful writing on a trivial subject.
His pen flew across the paper, leaving a trail of ink and words behind. He wrote one line, then the next, not pausing until his hand seized up with a cramp and he had to shake it loose, setting the pen aside.
Massaging his wrist, he let his eyes scan back over the page—a mistake, he knew. And sure enough, the words turned to offal in his mind. Who cared about the color of her eyes, or the way her hair curled just so? The language couldn’t capture the important parts. He scratched it all out to start again.