Sunday, May 3, 2009

wedding readings

This whole thing about choosing a wedding reading reminds me how much I love poetry, and how much Will doesn't. I knew that going in, and honestly, it was one of my biggest hesitations about getting serious with him -- I never pictured myself freely choosing to spend my life with someone who isn't great with words and doesn't enjoy language the way I do. Most of the time it doesn't matter the way I thought it would, but it's really hard to come up with readings that we both like. Today I forced him to go through the list we had narrowed down last time, and we did pick one, but he was like, "We still have time to find something better, right?"

He would be happy if we could use some ACDC lyrics:

...For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you

We rock at dawn on the front line
Like a bolt right out of the blue
The sky's alight with the guitar bite
Heads will roll and rock tonight...

On and on like that for several verses. We've got a family joke that rusty nails are a "great toy for a little boy!" That's how I feel about using something this for our wedding reading. In other words, No.

But here are some more readings that I do like that we're not using...

I heart Rumi:

from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

When I am with you, we stay up all night.

When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute, so we can cry out with loving.

You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.

This one isn't really romantic, but it sure is true!

Miss Manners: While exclusionary interest in one other human being, which is what we call courtship, is all very exciting in the stages of discovery, there is not enough substance in it for a lifetime, no matter how fascinating the people or passionate the romance. The world, on the other hand, is chock full of interesting and curious things. The point of the courtship — marriage — is to secure someone with whom you wish to go hand in hand through this source of entertainment, each making discoveries, and then sharing some and merely reporting others. Anyone who tries to compete with the entire world, demanding to be someone's sole source of interest and attention, is asking to be classified as a bore. "Why don't you ever want to talk to me?" will probably never start a satisfactory marital conversation. "Guess what?" will probably never fail."

This one almost made the cut (and it probably would have been the one I chose), but Will liked the other one of our top two better:

Crusoe by George Bilgere
When you’ve been away from it long enough
You begin to forget the country
Of couples, with all its customs
And mysterious ways. Those two
Over there, for instance: late thirties,
Attractive and well-dressed, reading
At the table, drinking some complicated
Coffee drink. They haven’t spoken
Or even looked at each other in thirty minutes
But the big toe of her right foot, naked
In its sandal, sometimes grazes
The naked ankle bone of his left foot,
The faintest signal, a line thrown
Between two vessels as they cruise
Through this hour, this vacation, this life,
Through the thick novels they’re reading,
Her toe saying to his ankle,
Here’s to the whole improbable story
Of our meeting, of our life together
And the oceanic richness
Of our mingled narrative
With its complex past, with its hurts
And secret jokes, its dark closets
And delightful sexual quirks,
Its occasional doldrums, its vast
Future we have already peopled
With children. How safe we are
Compared to that man sitting across the room,
Marooned with his drink
And yellow notebook, trying to write
A way off his little island.

I wonder if Dante will use something like this one when he gets married...

The Present by Michael Donaghy

For the present there is just one moon,
though every level pond gives back another.

But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon,
perceived by astrophysicist and lover,

is milliseconds old. And even that light's seven minutes older than its source.

And the stars we think we see on moonless nights
are long extinguished. And, of course,

this very moment, as you read this line,
is literally gone before you know it.

Forget the here-and-now. We have no time
but this device of wantonness and wit.

Make me this present then: your hand in mine,
And we'll live out our lives in it.

This one is so true, but we're optimistic that eventually we'll have fewer things left half undone

The lyrics from The Two Of Us by The Mr T Experience:

Now there are two of us, instead of only one,
two times as many things get left half undone.
We're twice as half-asleep when the new day has begun
and maybe twice as on the run,
Two lives are semi-rough
with half the rent and twice the stuff.
There are two of us, and that should be enough.
Look at everybody.
Everybody's always
falling apart or breaking up.
But the two of us never will be one of those,
and I should know– I have had a run of those
Our love's not guaranteed,
but there are two of us,
I think that's all we need.

This one is silly, and it's not the whole thing, it's really long and I'm just including my favorite parts (if you google, you can get the full text)

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like...
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I'm funny and you think I'm funny too
...You know how to be silly
That's why I like you
Boy are you ever silly
I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you
I like you because you know when it's time to stop being silly
Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never
Too late, it's a quarter past silly
If I pretend I am drowning, you pretend you are saving me...
And I like you because if we go away together
And if we are in Grand Central Station
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me...
I like you because if I am mad at you
Then you are mad at me too
It's awful when the other person isn't
They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could just about punch them in the nose...
If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one
If I find four, I give you two
If we only find three, we keep on looking
Sometimes we have good luck, and sometimes we don't
On the 4th of July I like you because it's the 4th of July
On the fifth of July, I like you too
If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses
If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines
We could be a HOLIDAY
We could be a CELEBRATION
We could be a WHOLE PARADE
See what I mean?
Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
Even if it was no place particular in January
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That's how it would happen every time
I don't know why
I guess I don't know why I really like you
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.

This one isn't wedding-y at all, but I love the first stanza especially:

Grammar by Tony Hoagland
Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend,
smiles like a big cat and says
that she's a conjugated verb.
She's been doing the direct object
with a second person pronoun named Phil,
and when she walks into the room,
everybody turns:

some kind of light is coming from her head.
Even the geraniums look curious,
and the bees, if they were here, would buzz
suspiciously around her hair,looking
for the door in her corona.
We're all attracted to the perfume
of fermenting joy.

we've all tried to start a fire,
and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.
In the meantime, she is the one today among us
most able to bear the idea of her own beauty
and when we see it, what we do is natural:
we take our burned hands
out of our pockets,
and clap.


sf said...

the last one
is not a wedding

sf said...

Also, I like how you picked Dante's for him. One thing he can chekhov the list, now!

Masasa said...

I liked almost all the readings, and your comments.

G is so not a poetry girl either.

Masasa said...

Oh, and I also like that you started thinking of what Dante might use!