Слов моих сухие листья ли
жадно дыша? –Mayakovsky
This is something I wrote when I was 20 and found recently. I guess I was a romantic at the time
One of the greatest things about poetry is its incredible ineffectiveness. Think of all the love poetry in the world. Now do you think a single line of it made a lick of difference? I wouldn’t count on it. Think of even the most beautiful parts – “помедли, помедли, вечерний день” – is it possible that even this had some effect on the beloved? Doubtful. People don’t love for reasons, and they certainly don’t love for poetry. But doesn’t that make the poems all the more beautiful, their pathos even greater because of their impossible futility?
A similar idea is the fantastic aspect of unrequited love. A loving couple, they are together, but they are together alone. But in unrequited love, you join up to a chain that potentially stretches across continents and generations. You are a part of something much bigger than yourself. You can look at the stars at night and know that somewhere far away, under a sky you would never recognise, someone is looking at some of the same stars from an opposite vantage point. And she is connected to you (maybe) by the magical chain of people in unrequited love. This makes the stars seem closer and more yours than ever. Of course, there are sobering thoughts that immediately come up and ruin this image. First, that your particular chain may not extend very far past the bank teller at the TD Canada Trust on 3 road; second, that even if the chain is long, it is mostly made up of people who are failures for some reason. Your comrades are fat, ugly, pimply, noxious-smelling idiots with grating laughs and nothing but blandness on their minds; last, it’s the thought that, all noble philosophising aside, you’re still not getting any. Oh well, it was worth a try.