On “My Valentine’s Tale”


I already regret doing this as I think a poem can be interpreted in different ways and that is the mystery of it. Otherwise, if you need to explain your poem, the poem is either not a good one or it is open to different interpretations as is the last stanza of the poem below. However, some of my friends have already condemned me for being a pessimist about love. That is a personal issue. I will however try to explain what the persona of this poem is saying.

We are mutually interdependent on each other. But, there is still crime in the society to different degrees. Some say it is bad. Some say it is good. Why do people think crime is good? It maintains a collective solidarity (a common moral ground) as it reminds us (in industrial societies) what is right and what is wrong. If no one cheated, stole, lied, then we would be indifferent between good and evil at least in our daily lives. We all know that we are not. We need to understand that bad people and bad relations factor in in our decisions to hold onto the good things we enjoy and not let go.

Going back to why the immorality in society is good… We, the people of modern societies, have become very differentiated. So, anything collective (i.e. our response to fraud, cheating, killing) is good for unitarity of the state at a national front. This is not a normative statement, just a fact of life which is unfair at times. The collective response would even increase security as there woud be less things to deal with domestically. But to increase prosperity, things like free trade is better. So there is a dilemma. However, when this is applied to love, there is no dilemma. We need the good and the bad to be able to love one person.

I hope you do not limit your interpretaron to this explanation. When I am reading your poems, I enjoy reading them differently every time.

Best,

Eda

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