Coming Back to Reality, I Fear I’ve Read Too Much

Most people know that bitter-sweet feeling at the end of a good book, when everything is wound up, for better or for worse, and they have to return to reality. This can be pretty hard, when everything in fiction is so perfect; even the evils are black and white, or have an easily dissociated positive side. A Song of Ice and Fire, and War and Peace are both good examples of fiction with lots of characters used almost to simply represent every human aspect, and therefore create flawed yet loveable personalities easy to associate with. They’re also pretty long novels, so coming back out at the other end can be particularly hard. Obviously real humans are not so perfect or easy to love as most fictional characters, and nor is love so perfect or easy to find as most fictional romances, and this can leave the readers amongst us in a pickle, with a possibly skewed or romanticised expectation of life and love, which I attempt to elaborate upon in this week’s poem, “I fear I’ve read too much”.

I Fear I’ve Read Too Much

I fear I’ve read too much to fall in love.
                Fictitious is the love I’ve known,
                And thus pursue until my own,
                Is worthy of the poison’s shame,
                Or can withstand to topple thrones,
                To slay the man with stronger claim,
                And lets fate cast us where she aims.
I fear our times subdue the truest love.
                To fall in love with all the grace,
                Inside a soul and writ on face,
                At first impress, and to decide,
                To take no home than at the place,
                And gaily fare a fortnight ride,
                To warm one’s palms upon her side.
I fear I’ve fallen many times in love.
                With beauties centuries before,
                Whose lineage is lost in lore,
                Whose lives grow grander yet with age,
                But though I’ll love no other more,
                They are but names upon the page,
                And lo, my heart is unassuaged.
I’ll love the girl who understands my love.
                We knew them well, so we’d pretend,
                Why not? We know them well like friends.
                We dream the lives they lived in words,
                So that their lives may never end,
                And that our lines and theirs are blurred;
                Behind the binding, souls are stirred.
I’ll love the soul that understands my love.
                It’s not that I don’t share my mind,
                But authors thoughts survive in time,
                So let’s together write a hook,
                So that your words may live in mine.
                We’ll love like speech marks overlooked,
                Within our own unwritten book.

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