MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Pick-Up Poetry

"Back from the cordial grave I drag thee"

“Back from the cordial grave I drag thee”

Poetry’s ties with romance are ageless, but nowadays the connection tends to evoke sappy clichés and, at worst, Hallmark card-style confections. So why not add some panache by filling your quiver with lines from the great poets?

Or maybe not… Over at The Hairpin, Lizzy Straus recently compiled a list of first lines from Emily Dickinson poems not likely to be very useful as pickup lines. These especially should probably be excluded from your speed-dating repertoire:

144 – I never hear the word “Escape”
260 – I’m nobody! Who are you?
303 – Alone I cannot be
332 – Doubt me! My dim companion!
336 – Before I got my eye put out
339 – I like a look of agony
407 – One need not be a chamber to be haunted
456 – A prison gets to be a friend
591 – I heard a fly buzz when I died
1050 – I am afraid to own a body
1649 – Back from the cordial grave I drag thee

See Lizzy’s complete list here.

But then, what about that epitome of the love poem, the Shakespearean sonnet? Would these lines from the Bard do any better than Emily Dickinson’s?

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear
I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes

Filed under: poetry


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