Sunday Poetry: For Once It Was His Own

Welcome to Sunday Poetry. If this is your first visit you can read about the purpose and inspiration of my Sunday poetry blogs here.

It’s Mother’s Day in the US, but today’s poem highlights romantic love.  We’ve heard so much talk about love and marriage this week, but not the way we usually do in spring. Instead we’ve heard arguments for and against marriage between two people who love each other, much as we did a generation ago.  Then the taboo was interracial marriage, and today it’s same sex marriage, but from my vantage point, the arguments remain the the same.

I went in search of a poem about love to share with you and found this one. Read A Ditty below, and tell me, is the narrator a woman talking about the man she loves?  Or is the narrator a man?  The sex of the narrator is never mentioned, although the object of affection is male.  Does that make the poem less powerful for you, less romantic?

Sir Philip Sidney was a prominent figure of the Elizabethan Age, and at his death from a battle wound, he was memorialized as the flower of English manhood.  I found the poem at

A Ditty by Sir Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one to the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

Remember there are no quizzes, no right ways to read or contemplate the poem we share.  Absolutely no dissecting allowed.  Just come along for the “read.”  What line, word or thought will you carry with you this week?  If you’d like to tell us where the poem took you?  We’ll listen.

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