Love, from the hert, for Valentine’s day

Charles Duc d’Orleans (1394-1465) wrote this love poem for his wife, in 1415, after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt:

Battle of Agincourt, 25 October 1415, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schlacht_von_Azincourt.jpg 

 

Go forth, my hert, with my lady; Loke that we spare no business To serve her with such lowliness, That ye get her grace and mercy.

Pray her of times prively
That she keep trewly her promise
Go forth, my hert, with my lady; Loke that we spare no business To serve her with such lowliness, That ye get her grace and mercy.

I must as a hertless body
Abide alone in hevyness,
And ye shal do wel with your maistress pleasure
In plesans glad and mery.
Go forth, my hert, with my lady; Loke that we spare no business To serve her with such lowliness, That ye get her grace and mercy.

The Duc D’Orleans was interned in England, in various places, including Wallingford Castle for twenty-four years. He missed his wife, Bonne d’Armagnac, and loved her trewly but he never saw her again to tell her what was in his hert for she died before he was released, in 1440. But perhaps she knew his hert had gone forth with her.

And, on this Valentine’s day, the thing I would like to have made, or written, in this case, is The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz. In a parallel world I would have learned to psychoanalyse with the compassion, lucidity and self-knowledge that Grosz manages. His book was serialised on Radio 4’s Book of the Week earlier this year and that serialisation sent me to his book. It’s a spare, clear account of why (and how) we need to tell the stories of our lives, and why we need those stories to be heard. As Grosz, a still-practising psychoanalyst, writes in the Preface:

The philosopher Simone Weil describes how two prisoners in adjoining cells learn, over a very long period of time, to talk to each other by tapping on the wall. “The wall is the thing which separates them, but it is also their means of communication,” she writes. “Every separation is a link”.

This book is about that wall. It’s about our desire to talk, to understand and be understood. It’s also about listening to each other, not just the words but the gaps in between. What I’m describing here isn’t a magical process. It’s something that is a part of our everyday lives – we tap, we listen.

And that is a very patient love.

About Angela

I write fiction about the difficulty we have when we try to say what's in our hearts.
This entry was posted in Love, Things I'd Love to Have Made and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.