Before we two part from each other’s sight,
My sweetheart, I would like to ask of you…
Give me a kiss to dream about tonight,
So I may dream of you the whole night through.
Kiss me, my love, and tuck me in a cloud,
As far away from this world as could be,
Up high where only angels are allowed,
Where I’d feel as if you were still with me.
Turn off the stars in the sky with that kiss,
And turn on the ones that are in my eyes,
So I may see past bounds of heaven’s bliss,
And dream of ecstasies but known in lies.
So won’t you give me that kiss, my sweetheart,
To dream about tonight while we’re apart?
02.24.94 – 05.23.94
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
This poem wasn’t supposed to have been a sonnet. Rather, it was supposed to have been lyrics to Sir Edward Elgar’s Salut d’amour. Listen to the melody and see how well the first line of “Give me a kiss to dream about tonight” fits it. Another classical piece that captivated me from out of nowhere as I did homework with random classical music in the background from library CDs borrowed, after just a few listen to this tune, the words of the first line and concept for the rest of the poem came to me. Unfortunately, the rest of it did not and I ended up writing it as a sonnet. Perhaps the toll, as pleasant as it were, of writing lyrics for I Want You and Winter Fantasie forced me to abandon patience to write this poem as lyrics to Salut d’amour. Perhaps it was temptation to complete the poem in whatever form given success I recall having had with being able to fit it into 4 line stanzas towards either a loose verse poem or maybe a sonnet if I could get the so expected “clever” couplet at the end to complete the poem. Whatever it was, I still have a bit of, both, regret for not having lyrics to sing to for Salut d’amour on such a lovely concept, and joy for having a sonnet on this concept with the imagery shown.
There isn’t anything really interesting or insightful about this poem. I just really like the imagery I came up with, or possibly I like them because the process to come up with them all was very pleasant. Otherwise, I just kind of see this poem as describing two young teenage lovers saying goodbye for the night at the door of one’s home before parting ways. I say “teenage” lovers because it’s about having to say goodbye at the door instead of prolonging the date. I was also thinking a first date situation when I wrote it, when that first kiss is even more magical than a “good night” kiss to end another date, but it could work just as well for any date where the lovers have to part at the door to end the date.
As for a muse, I didn’t need one for this poem. I had all the imagery, concept, music and such I needed to write it. Whoever’s image popped into my head as I imagined standing there and asking for that parting kiss, I never knew. It was just some nice shy young woman, but always nice, shy and young. 🙂
Oh, if it weren’t obvious by now, my originally independent venture into poetry writing and classical music listening became very quickly entwined as most of my early poems were tied to classical music in one way or another. An even closer tie was actually present since even those poems without relation to classical music, I penned a suggested idea of a classical piece I thought would convey parallel emotions to the poem. I did feel the music enhanced the emotions associated wit the poems, but at the same time, I never did feel the poems weren’t “good enough” or inferior in some way despite some of my comments now about them not being “anything great”. Actually, I don’t go around feeling any of my poetry is “anything great” despite liking them quite a bit but only because my feelings are also tied to the process it took me to write them. It was just a case of satisfaction with my work but with a desire to make it even better, I guess, that I penned in suggested classical pieces to be read with the poems. It was almost a trademark of sorts given how often I did it, but one which I gave up by the summer of 1994. This was the last poem I will share which had classical music accompaniment recommended, with others in the past and future not directly about classical music or as lyrics to such pieces remaining unshared.
Despite the association to Elgar’s Salut d’amour as being the original inspiration to this poem, the piece suggested to accompany reading of this poem was Frederyk Chopin’s Nocturne #1 in B flat minor, Op 9, No 1. It’s a nice piece, with an opening and opening theme repeated which I really liked despite being written in the Western music “funeral key” of B flat minor. I had discovered the piece when Mom and Dad brought home a complete double CD Noctures collection by a Vietnamese pianist, Dang Thai Son, who had been in Halifax for a performance. I did not attend because, I must shamefully admit, he was Vietnamese. With all the great pianists around, what would I get from listening to a Vietnamese play Chopin?
Heh! With all the great poets around, what would anybody get from a Vietnamese writing English poetry? And I wasn’t even ever on close to getting my own tour! Foolish idiotic me!
By what might seem like a stroke of irony but was really an act of exorcism, I penned in the Elgar Salut d’amour as the suggested music for Sonnet II, which I had started in mid-April 1994, a couple of frustrating months after struggling with trying to write this poem as lyrics for Salut d’amour, and finishing in early May 1994, some three weeks before this poem got finished. By committing the Salut d’amour as the recommended music for Sonnet II, I rested the notion of trying to write this poem as lyrics for Salut d’amour and threw out however far I had gotten with the attempt at the time, which wasn’t all that far. It didn’t take me long to complete this poem once I accepted its destiny focused on getting it there.
As for the choice to assign the Salut d’amour piece to Sonnet II, it wasn’t completely haphazard. I liked that poem enough that any sort of slow romantic piece would have done so long as it didn’t have an association to something like a movie to generate conflicting thoughts and imagery. Salut d’amour was the nicest piece I knew which I had not to which I had not given an emotional attachment so it was an easy, self-nominating choice rather than a completely haphazard exorcism.
Anyway, that’s it for this poem and its stories. I had better learn to cut things down because I have about 220 more descriptions to write! That’s write, pun misspelling intended. There are that many more poems coming with notes, if you’ve never had an idea of my poetic output over the years. I suppose it’s a good thing about 170 of them are short, one stanza style poems, though the concepts some touch upon I know I’ll have to write half a book to get it out. That’s why I love poetry, in some ways, because you can really say a lot in a few words. For all the rambling I do writing prose and in talking in real life, you just wait and see how elegant I can sometimes be in my po-e-tree. 😉
Please click here to see the only ten sonnets I have ever written.