Brian’s Reflection: Friday, March 11, 2011
Life of my life, you seem to me
Like some pallid olive tree
Or the faded rose I see:
Nor do you lack beauty,
But pleasing in every way to me,
In shyness or in flattery,
Whether you follow me or flee,
Consume, destroy me softly.
Torquato Tasso, poet; he was
born on this date, 1544, in Sorrento
“Consume, destroy me softly”. Now that’s a passionate, gentle sigh of the heart given voice and form by a true and wise poet!
I love the imagery of the pallid olive tree and the faded rose ~ both soft, refined, elegant, having the quality of beauty that comes only with age.
But Tasso is speaking to a power he has known from his youth, when it was then shy and following him, enticing him; and in later life, when it stroked his virtues and danced ahead, drawing him deeper into Life.
He is honouring Love. Love is the “Life of my life”. Love is the Goddess, the Divine, in all Her mystery.
We are all destined to disappear into Love, “to die”, to be “destroyed”. But Tasso is not afraid; he knows the paradox of surrendering to this Love, which kills without hurt … softly.
From the dying comes Life, whispering “Do not be afraid!”