because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

meditations on language

de filosofia no sé;
del amor tampoco o menos;
pero me pones pensar tu
si es posible mancar
lo que aún no haya tenido.

*

*

this morning the light comes
through glass as if it were

autumn, but there is no poem
in it. in english,

one can say only i miss you,
but that doesn’t cover

by half the september sun
he says i need.

in italian, mi manchi,
you are lacking to me;

a lesson in grapeskins
and empty palms.

in spanish the thing,
like autumn morning light,

gets nearer: me haces falta,
te echo de menos,

te extraño: you make me lack;
you make me less;

i miss you. like a third hand
to turn the door knob

when my arms are wrapped
around your waist.

27 responses

  1. Pingback: Tu me manques « The Bard of Liminga

  2. Lovely. The pensive feel and the struggle to find the words to convey the emotion is beautiful to read. I’m caught, breathless with longing, by the final image.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

  3. Sweet…I love the last lines…I miss you. Like a third hand to turn the door knob….
    😉

    August 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

  4. “in spanish the thing,
    like autumn morning light,

    gets nearer: me haces falta,
    te echo de menos,

    te extraño: you make me lack;
    you make me less;

    i miss you. like a third hand
    to turn the door knob

    when my arms are wrapped
    around your waist.”

    The “I miss you” got me. with love and respect, el Moosk

    August 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    • and here i thought you were going to take me to task for my spanish.. 😉 thanks Mosk.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

  5. “but that doesn’t cover
    by half the september sun
    he says i need” … This blows my mind. Amazing.

    “you are lacking to me;
    a lesson in grapeskins
    and empty palms” … Seriously. This is superb poetry. I am very impressed with you.

    The integration of assorted languages always adds spice to a poem. Well done.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    • thank you; i’ve enjoyed nosing around your site, too. 🙂

      August 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

  6. Lovely! I know that morning when the light first looks like autumn.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  7. I miss you. like a third hand
    to turn the door knob

    when my arms are wrapped
    around your waist.

    scrumptuous imagery in these lines….a great polyglot shot from the heart to pen.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:57 pm

  8. Beautiful poem. There are many ideas, especially in the realm of love, of relationship, where English cannot seem to go deep enough. I love the ending… i miss you. like a third hand
    to turn the door knob

    when my arms are wrapped
    around your waist.

    Well done.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

  9. Love and feelings of fondness are sometimes elusive. But it would be good to read about them! Nicely written joanne!

    Hank

    August 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  10. a lesson in grapeskins
    and empty palms…

    and like a third hand to turn the doorknob when my arms are around your waist…my two favorite parts joanna….this is lovely….and sometimes there are just not the words…smiles..

    August 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    • thanks, b. *smiles back*

      August 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

  11. Such well-written poetry, I’d enjoy also to copy each line. they are so integrated. To pick out one is like deciding what topping to put on ice cream. I just add some of everything. And…oh yeah–I miss ya. OK? –grin!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    • lines like ice cream toppings… i like that! 🙂

      August 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

  12. love the feel of sweet autumn light, glowing…the feeling of emptiness, missing someone. love the closing lines…

    August 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

  13. Gay

    The use of three languages to get the exact nuance, the perfect ways to say – I am incomplete without you. – Exquisitely wrought.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    • thank you, Gay. *blushes*

      August 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

  14. i miss you. like a third hand
    to turn the door knob

    when my arms are wrapped
    around your waist. – Quoted for brilliance. Also, great effect on the use of multiple languages.

    August 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    • thanks, Wanderer. it seems people are definitely drawn to those last lines. a little strange since initially they were split by another couplet. huh. the virtue of editing, i guess. 🙂

      August 16, 2012 at 9:18 am

  15. Dick Jones

    In this context, clearly English is the loving tongue! A fine meditation on love, language and meaning.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:44 am

    • 🙂 thanks, Dick

      August 16, 2012 at 9:18 am

  16. This is just a beautiful poem. The comparisons to the different languages are themselves musical and beautiful, and then, of course, the closing lines are the kicker. Really lovely. k.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

  17. Reblogged this on glacialtides and commented:
    Just discovered you J.S. and you are in my hometown.Richmond and I have pseudonym of Glacialtides here. I used to poetize and write at Blogstream, but, it went away > just saying Hello at five to midnight Work tomorrow. Iwan to folow your work and discover how I discovered you by accident. I recognized the richmond skyline Manchester Bridge…. like whatt i have read . i shall return with permission. Night Ulric Hubert Rainard on FB

    August 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

    • Hi Ulric, nice to “meet” you! Thank you so much for your kind words & your reblogging over at glacialtides. So glad you found me on Facebook as well. It’s always nice to meet fellow Richmonders out in the world. I did not grow up here, but I think this town leaves its mark on anyone who passes through her. I take a lot of my pictures from around town, and the river. Please feel welcome to return here at the-tenth-muse anytime. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, and weekend.
      –J.S.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

      • So Joanna, I came to visit my writing barn and wandered back into yours and scrolled until I found you again… three months
        passed _ I hope your life is well. i myself had a stroke last Friday morning_ out here south of Seattle, but I am recovering well,
        except, that _ today; they called a code on me, when I was giving up the vials of blood for follow up tests for my new best friend, Dr. H
        Ain’t life grand! I love your writing. It is wondrous. Have a wonderful day and I hope the Holidays are wonderful, too. Ulric Bye
        p.s. and… It is very nice to meet you as well, and thank you for all of your contributions_To this good earth.UHR

        December 6, 2012 at 4:57 am

        • Oh, Ulric, that’s so scary! My heart goes out to you, my friend, and I hope by the time you see this, things have stabilized and you’re doing much better. It’s simply lovely to hear from you. It is a very busy holiday season here for me with family stuff going on, a new apartment, and a lot of going up and down the road to and from Richmond. I hope your holidays are calmer! And I wish you good fortune and good health for the new year that is coming. Stay in touch!
          –jsl

          December 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

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