Equal affection

I was maybe thirteen or fourteen when I first came across W. H. Auden’s poem ‘The more loving one’. I fell in love with it instantly. Being so young when first reading it I obviously could not understand it that well. Neither I experienced love up to that point, nor a broken heart so the real meaning of the poem was yet to be revealed to me. Here is the poem:

“Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.”

(W. H. Auden – The More Loving One)

Just today I was thinking how special and rare is equal affection between two people. Like I said in one of my previous posts, you can never know what the other person feels, you don’t even know whether you can trust him/her, you only have to feel it. You have to trust your intuition in this. I really do trust it – but even that can fail me sometimes. That’s disillusionment. Or some call it a broken heart.

At this very moment I feel like there is no such thing as equal affection. One always loves more than the other. There is always one who is the admirer – the one who lovingly observes a cold and distant star, but in vain.

Here’s my poem though it’s nowhere near as good as Auden’s:

I tried to solve countless equations
Yet my want for you is uncountable.
I failed with science and calculations
To make my heart sustainable.

Answer I longed for I never found
Neither on tongue, nor in your eyes,
Found myself falling from the cloud,
On the day you said your goodbyes.

I traded pleasure and joyfulness
For the final movement of the ninth.
In tentative reply to loneliness
I choose to be my largest crowd.

Walls are higher, stairs are steeper,
Wild is path I have to go through.
With every breath I dive deeper,
Insatiable is my desire for you.

If equal affection can not be true,
I wish the more loving one were you.


4 thoughts on “Equal affection

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