"Ask Me No More" by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema‘Unrequited Love’ by J. Simon Harris The Society March 8, 2018 Beauty, Humor, Poetry 12 Comments You caught me staring at you yesterday, or so it seemed, for you—you smiled and blushed and all your girlfriends giggled in the hushed and stilted silence of the lecture. They had to have seen me staring your way too, slackjawed (old love has always been a child), transfixed by beauty less demure and mild than ardent and chaotic. Seeing you, I curbed my furtive glances (or I tried to), and flirted with the lecture now, instead— what was it our instructor spoke about? The words I heard went in…and then right out. For as you brushed your golden hair, ahead I stared, past you, at her: the girl behind you. J. Simon Harris lives with his family in Raleigh, NC. He is a graduate researcher in Materials Science at NC State University. Much of his poetry, including his ongoing translation of Homer’s Iliad in dactylic hexameter and samples of his translation of Dante’s Inferno in terza rima, is available on his website (www.jsimonharris.com). His novel, Lemnos, is available now on Amazon Kindle.” www.jsimonharris.com Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 12 Responses Michael Dashiell March 8, 2018 It reminds me of an 80s song by The Police: Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Reply J. Simon Harris March 12, 2018 I wasn’t familiar with the song, but I looked it up. I can see the resemblance, although there are differences too. Thanks for bringing it up! Reply James Sale March 9, 2018 Josh Harris is a wonderful Dante translator and this reminds me of Dante – and the accounts of how seeing Beatrice transfixed and transformed him forever. Though, of course, the irony here is ‘the girl behind you’ and notice too the amazing stretch: the echo of a rhyme five lines behind. Reply J. Simon Harris March 11, 2018 Thank you, Mr. Sale. It’s interesting that the poem reminds you of Dante, because a scene from the Vita Nuova actually inspired it. In the scene, Dante is staring at Beatrice, when another woman in the line of sight between them believes he is looking at her (he calls her the “screen lady”). I thought it would be a great subject for an ironic Italian sonnet. Reply I. Warble Seduce March 9, 2018 Thoughts on “Unrequited Love” by J. Simon Harris: 1. The first quatrain, filled with alliteration, the unusual opening y’s, the comical g’s, and the scattered s’s, contains epizeuxis, and ends with a carryover, which leads into… 2. the second quatrain, where one finds excellent diction, like “slackjawed,” (a parenthetical metaphor), and a longer carryover, which progresses to… 3. the sestet’s opening alliterative pair “furtive/flirted,” (a quick aside), a nice anecdote, and an O. Henry surprise—with concomitant break in the metre—in an effective ceffec rhyme scheme, concluding the traditional theme of unrequited love, slightly humourously and neatly awkward. Touché. Reply J. Simon Harris March 11, 2018 Thank you for your astute analysis. I had never heard the term “epizeuxis”, so that was a nice bonus! Being originally from Greensboro, NC, I especially appreciate the comparison to O. Henry. Many thanks! Reply David Watt March 9, 2018 A very well balanced poem, and a delight to read. I am a fan of humorous endings, particularly with an ironic twist. Reply J. Simon Harris March 12, 2018 Thank you! I am also a sucker for ironic endings. I’m glad you liked the poem. Reply Steven Shaffer March 10, 2018 Very nice! I also like the switch at the end (although I /think/ I kind of saw it coming). Reply J. Simon Harris March 12, 2018 Thanks! Reply David Hollywood March 11, 2018 Lovely. Reply J. Simon Harris March 12, 2018 Thank you! Reply Leave a Reply to Michael Dashiell Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.