Monday, December 18, 2006

from Epigrams and Epitaphs

by C. S. Lewis

Have you not seen that in our days
Of any whose story, song, or art
Delights us, our sincerest praise
Means, when all's said, 'You break my heart'?

* * *

One of my favorite little short poems. Why is it that the most beautiful things always break our hearts? Is it because only what we love can break our heart -- or because we love what already breaks our heart?

It reminds me of Edna St. Vincent Millay's "My soul is all but out of me" -- things can be too beautiful to bear, so beautiful they hurt, and yet we don't want to stop looking at them. I suppose it's just because our hearts hurt from being overfilled, and yet we want to fill our hearts with beautiful things all the same.

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