Although, the issues of love are rather important for the existence of the mankind, they stay unsolved demanding further consideration by people. Despite numerous ideas about the sense of human lives that suggest doing the good, fulfilling some missions, etc. as the major aim of human beings in this world, people have always agreed that love is the central point in the human life. All people who do not love see no sense in life. Those who see this sense in their lives acknowledge that it is love that fills their lives with sense and meaning. Thus, all people who love have sense in their lives (Carson, 2005). Taking this statement as the universal truth, this paper will focus on the consideration of the concept of love in the context of two famous books – “Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera” by Anne Carson and “The Song of Songs” translated by Ariel and Chana Bloch. The very consideration will be supported by examples from these books and is aimed at being objective and comprehensive.
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Anne Carson about Love
To begin with, it is necessary to state that the book by Anne Carson, a famous American writer, is a rather valuable source of original thoughts and conceptions about the major phenomena of human lives among which love takes a central place. The author herself is very concerned with the topic of love, its essence or meaning, and the so-called “theology of love” (Carson, 162) is reflected in her book rather considerably:
What is it that love dares the self to do? all is to be dared… Love dares the self to leave the self behind. (Carson, 162).
In these lines, the very essence of the book by Carson is reflected. All the ideas of “Decreation” depict the process of eliminating the self from existence, for it says that people are aimed at becoming pure emotions and feelings. Love is a pure feeling. Consequently, all people aim at becoming love as it is. The lines presented above demonstrate the author’s readiness to commit what she talks about in her poetry. The precise description of the process of the development of the feeling of love is also presented by Anne Carson, who considers it to be the long way from subliminal desire to the heavens of an ecstasy that makes people forget about themselves: “an ecstasy in which the soul is carried outside her own Being and leaves herself behind” (Carson, 162).
Moreover, speaking of love and its becoming sublime, one can not help mentioning the issues of self-denial and sacrifice in favor of his or her beloved person. Human beings are able of these actions, although some of them do not even suspect it until they fall in love. Thus, the true love, the feeling of delight and readiness for self-sacrificee, is the one that can be felt even when its object is not close to the one who loves, and there is a hard necessity to wait for him or her. According to Carson, these abilities of the human mind is the reflection of subliminal desire for decreation and for being everything for those whom they love and consider as sublime: “she creates in her mind a dream of distance where food can be enjoyed perhaps from across the room merely by looking at it,… where the lover can stay, at the same time, near to and far from the object of her love.” (Carson, 175).
All these ideas are rather interesting and helpful for those who focus on the issues of love and want to understand what love really is and how it turns sublime for people. Is it a terrible torture that people are bound to experience? Or is it the heavenly delight that the God brings us in the hardships of life ? Anne Carson, in one of her blended poems, seems to answer this question as accurately as possible:
You have captured: pinned upon my heart: the wall of my heart is your love with one glance: as one with one bead: as an exile of the kings of royalty (Carson, 79).
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Song of Songs
Furthermore, love as one of the greatest feelings ever expressed in the poetry. The so-called Song of Solomon, or the Song of Songs explains what is love and when it turns sublime. Translated by Ariel Chana Blochs, this poem is the most relevant of all the sources of data about the view of love of ancient people as it reveals the most intimate aspects of the poem telling about love and its turning sublime. Although in the encoded form, the very essence of love as seen by ancient people is revealed in this poem, which dates back to the times of the Old Testament (Bloch, 1998). Love as the sense of human life, its becoming sublime when people feel it and can not resist this feeling, social stereotyping and condemnation of some of the forms of its expression and people’s readiness to sacrifice everything for love which has turned sublime for them are the central points of this marvelous poem:
For love is as fierce as death,
Its jealousy as bitter as the grave. (Bloch, 5).
The topics of significance of love and its turning sublime are also touched upon in the Song of Songs. Yet, the ancient people also understood love as the way to demonstrate feelings that one human being has for another one. Innateness of love has always been obvious to humans and they never concentrated on any other emotion or feeling characteristic of human beings to such an extent as love (Bloch, 1998). Romance and passion feature the Song of Songs with the most beauty ever making the translator into the presenter of the divine will:
I have come into my gardens,
I have gathered my myrrh and my spices…(Bloch, 5).
Thus, love is seen as the most beautiful feeling to be born by nature and blessed by God for all the creatures on this little planet. Love turns sublime when both persons who love understand that their lives are nothing without their beloved ones. The Song of Song as the kindest part of the Old Testament was often omitted by translators of it due to its explicit manifestations of love that are used to characterize the romantic relations between the people who love each other, but the translation by Blochs eliminated these drawbacks and exists as the most complete version of the Song of Songs, the poem about love which is neither awful nor disgusting, ever published (Bloch, 1998).
So, to conclude it is necessary to say at first that it was aimed at identifying the essence of love and the ways in which it can turn sublime. The paper reached this aim by considering the concept of love in the whole variety of its manifestations and by using the bright examples of ideas about love from the two valuable books “Decreation” and “The Song of Songs”. This paper managed to find out that love is the main meaning of life for many people, and from the ancient times it has been the most beautiful emotion that human beings are able to experience. It turns sublime by the paramount meaning people attribute to it and by the good people obtain from it.
Bloch, Ariel & Bloch, Chana. The Song of Songs: A New Translation. University of California Press, 1998.
Carson, Anne. Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera. Knopf, 2005.