The Kiss

The Kiss

I hoped that he would love me,
And he has kissed my mouth,
But I am like a stricken bird
That cannot reach the south.

For though I know he loves me,
To-night my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.

“The Kiss” is a romantic poem written in 1917 by Sara Teasdale (see here) who would win the first Columbia Poetry Prize in 1918, a prize later renamed the “Pulitzer Prize for poetry.”
It suggests that the fantasy of a kiss, above all the first kiss, with someone is not always as magical as one imagines it would be.
The speaker, a girl, hoping to be loved by the man of her desires, has dreamt a lot of her magical first kiss with him .
But, after kissing him, she sadly realizes that her much anticipated kiss was not so amazing as she wished: the long waited expectation has been sweeter than its realization.

In “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1820) John Keats had already expressed the same idea, a century before:
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter”

The power of our imagination is often greater than reality: imagining something can bring great happiness while something real can be disappointing.

Il bacio

Speravo che mi amasse,
e lui la mia bocca ha baciato,
ma io sono come un uccello ferito
che non riesce a raggiungere il sud.

Perché pur sapendo che mi ama,
stanotte il mio cuore è rattristato;
il suo bacio non era meraviglioso
come io l’avevo sognato.

(trad: L.Z.)

Image: Gustav KlimtThe Kiss (detail) – 1907-1908

60 thoughts on “The Kiss

  1. “Il potere della nostra immaginazione è spesso più grande della realtà: immaginare qualcosa può portare grande felicità mentre qualcosa di reale può essere deludente”. Questa è semplicemente da cornice. Brava Luisa che riesci sempre a conquistare il nostro interesse. 😘

    Liked by 3 people

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