The poem “Marriage” - part two
A wedding group in Sicily, 2017
Here is the text of the poem, and the third of a series of comments on the ideas behind poems in Poems About Love.
Here I comment on the second part of the poem.
When push comes to shove
marriage is not about love.
And a wedding
is not “the happy ending”.
It is the beginning
of a long journey
with a contract to travel for the rest of your life
with someone you hardly know
by a route and towards a destination
that no-one knows.
2004 and 1 January 2023
The stories behind the poems
Behind many poems in Poems about love lie events that set me thinking.
I discussed the opening of this poem in an earlier post.
Marriage – comment 2
Of course, every mature person knows that “a wedding is not the happy ending”.
Yet weddings are so often treated as an end-of-story event, the culmination of years of hope and striving, a glorious achievement to be celebrated with no expense spared, as if the wedding is the real life fairy tale come true and the beaming couple will “live together,happy ever after”.
Most marriages are of relatively young people (under 35?) with little experience of life. It struck me that the marriage commitment was the greatest undertaking two people might ever make in their lives, yet their knowledge of each other, the world, how they and the world might change in the future was very slight.
Weddings, therefore, are the beginnings of very risky enterprises.
So it surprises me that so many marriages can be described as happy or successful.
The poem raises the very important question of what does a happy marriage depend on in the face of so many unknowns?
Those marriages that are successful can’t put it all down to the common explanation that it was “luck”.
Although, having good health, having a good and reliable income, and living in a safe and prospering country – much of which is beyond personal control – is certainly a kind of luck that helps towards a happy marriage and a happy life.
What does it takes to make a marriage work? What is needed beyond a mutual attraction, mutual desire, “being in love”?
It would be interesting to compile a list of readers’ ideas.
One suggestion is that having a common interest is often a key factor, but in our village there is a woman, Bryony Hill, who was married to the famous football player and pundit, Jimmy Hill. She hated football. Her theory about their very happy relationship was that they got on so well together “because we were so different.”
I’d be interested to hear your view on this topic? You can comment either on facebook or my blog.
Read all the poems
You can read all the poems in the book by buying or downloading it on Amazon. LINK.If you get the book please give it a star rating. I’d love some feedback so I’d really welcome comments on the book.
More comments and background and poems to follow in future blog articles.