Love and Death

by Larry Fyffe

Love and death be oft associated with each other in the poems and song lyrics by artists with a Romantic bent.

In the poem quoted beneath, no fear of death there be even with grave doubts about there being an Afterlife:

How well I knew the light before
I could not see it now
'Tis dying, I am dying 
But I'm not afraid to know
(Emily Dickinson: I Am Dying)

Likewise expressed below, there’s scepticism about the existence of an ‘actual’ transcendental life after death:

Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there
(Bob Dylan: Not Dark Yet)

Below in the Gothic poem that’s “full of sorrow”, a person forsaken by the women he loves  feels like he’s buried alive:

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne
Clustered around by all her starry Fays
But here there is no light
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms, and winding mossy ways
(John Keats: Ode To A Nightingale)

In the following song, not so filled with sorrow, her leaving likened to a temporary death suffered by the one who loves her:

One more night, I will wait for the light
While the wind blows high above the trees
Oh, I miss my darling so
I didn't mean to see her go
But tonight no light will shine on me
(Bob Dylan: One More Night)

Far worse is getting blamed – falsely by others – for the death of a person (ie, Christ), and then consequently barred from an Afterlife should there be one:

I won't be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can't go to paradise, my love
I killed a man back there
(Bob Dylan: Spirit On The Water)

Nor is the poet quoted beneath concerned that the transcendental Afterlife isn’t like it’s depicted by orthodox  Christianity:

Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon
When their bones are picked clean, and the clean bones gone
They shall have stars at elbow and foot ....
And death shall have no dominion
No more may gulls cry at their ears
(Dylan Thomas: And Death Shall Have No Dominion)

Not only is it apparent the poet above steals from Bob Dylan’s name, but from the style and content of his song lyrics as well

As from:

Of war and peace, the truth just twists, it's curfew
gull it glides
(Bob Dylan: Gates Of Eden)

From this below too, Thomas thieves:

One day the man in the moon went home
and the river went dry
(Bob Dylan: Under The Red Sky)

Love and death, love and theft ~ that’s what it must be all about.

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