Conrad Potter Aiken

(5 August 1889 – 17 August 1973 / Savannah, Georgia)

Annihilation - Poem by Conrad Potter Aiken

While the blue noon above us arches,
And the poplar sheds disconsolate leaves,
Tell me again why love bewitches,
And what love gives.

It is the trembling finger that traces
The eyebrow’s curve, the curve of the cheek?
The mouth that quivers, when the hand caresses,
But cannot speak?

No, not these, not in these is hidden
The secret, more than in other things:
Not only the touch of a hand can gladden
Till the blood sings.

It is the leaf that falls between us,
The bells that murmur, the shadows that move,
The autumnal sunlight that fades upon us:
These things are love.

It is the ‘No, let us sit here longer,’
The ‘Wait till tomorrow,’ the ‘Once I knew —’
These trifles, said as I touch your finger,
And the clock strikes two.

The world is intricate, and we are nothing.
It is the complex world of grass,
A twig on the path, a look of loathing,
Feelings that pass —

These are the secret! And I could hate you,
When, as I lean for another kiss,
I see in your eyes that I do not meet you,
And that love is this.

Rock meeting rock can know love better
Than eyes that stare or lips that touch.
All that we know in love is bitter,
And it is not much.

Comments about Annihilation by Conrad Potter Aiken

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (1/18/2017 7:22:00 PM)

    But cannot speak...

    Love is better experienced than expressed.
    Great intellectual and artistic display of words.
    Good poetic piece!

    Sylva-Onyema Uba
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/18/2017 6:37:00 PM)

    Well-expressesd! ! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing...... (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/18/2017 12:12:00 PM)

    Nicely written poem....I find it realistic, thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Seamus O Brian (1/18/2017 9:53:00 AM)

    *Love poems* come so easily, perhaps in part because they are written from wells of strong emotion. But their veracity is as enduring as the emotion itself. I love this work because it moves beyond the emotion, to ask of the essence itself, and finds an answer that is both bleak and yet realistically stirring to the soul. Annihilation: *toward nothingness*. Such is the truth of love, eventually. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/18/2017 8:45:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. Like to read again and again. There is a strong feeling of love and its effects. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/18/2017 5:40:00 AM)

    Your eyes
    I do not meet you. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (1/18/2017 5:09:00 AM)

    While the blue noon above us arches,
    And the poplar sheds disconsolate leaves,
    Tell me again why love bewitches,
    And what love gives. nicely written
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/18/2017 5:06:00 AM)

    tom allport
    lovely poem of feelings that are not always mutual. (Report) Reply

  • Tatiana Berdennikova (1/18/2017 3:50:00 AM)

    It is a beautiful and powerful poem, which gives a deeper understanding of love. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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