To the Same

October 4, 2011

To the Same

(for Damien)

‘My favourite poem in this anthology

Is William Cowper’s To the Same.’ I wrote

At school. The English mistress pointed out

That this was no true title, but to me

Even after half a century

It shines out with the steadfastness of gold

From a dark bookcase. It is a title held

By all achievers in fidelity.

I do not write love poems, but if I did

I too would praise the continuity

Of love and not the onset. So a name

Would not be necessary, for I should

Of course mean you, who have survived with me,

And address all my sonnets to the same.

— Patricia Beer


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