That love which ‘shifts the boundaries of our being’

old couple

Nothing can explain this adventure – let’s say a quirk
of fortune steered us together – we made our covenants,
began this odyssey of ours, by hunch and guesswork,
a blind date where foolish love consented in advance.
No my beloved, neither knew what lay behind the frontiers.
You told me once you hesitated: A needle can waver,
then fix on its pole; I am still after many years
baffled that the needle’s gift dipped in my favour.
Should I dare to be so lucky? Is this a dream?
Suddenly in the commonplace that first amazement seizes
me all over again – a freak twist to the theme,
subtle jazz of the new familiar, trip of surprises.
Gratuitous, beyond our fathom, both binding and freeing,
this love re-invades us, shifts the boundaries of our being.

– Micheal O’Siadhail, ‘Out of the Blue’, in Poems 1975–1995: Hail! Madam Jazz and A Fragile City (Bloodaxe: Newcastle upon Tyne, 1999), 124.

4 thoughts on “That love which ‘shifts the boundaries of our being’

  1. I often come to this site and should comment more often. I found this poem especially invigorating. It has some of the same themes found in Wendell Berry’s “The Country of Marriage,” one of my favorite books of poetry. Ethel and I have been married for 46+ years, and the truth is that a marriage that has lasted that long grows deeper with time. That this is a Shakespearean sonnet helps to seal my delight in reading it. I tend to love sonnets, if they are well-done, anyway.
    The lines,
    Suddenly in the commonplace that first amazement seizes
    me all over again – a freak twist to the theme,
    subtle jazz of the new familiar, trip of surprises.
    strike me as especially true as they relate to my life. Thanks so much for posting this.

    Like

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