My husband is no Shakespeare, but I love his poetry because it is original, corny, and heartfelt. Usually I receive poems taped onto my wrapped birthday and Christmas gifts, the contents of which are often suggested by the theme of the poem. My favorite all-time poem is “Ode to Doggy Doo,” which was written the year I received the carpet cleaner. I’ll spare you the details.
When we were dating, he decided to woo me with verses from the “Song of Solomon” in the Bible. This is what I got:
“How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
Descending from Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
Coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
Not one of them is alone.” (Song of Solomon 4:1-2)
Okay, the first two lines are good. I can relate to beautiful. But my eyes behind my veil are like doves? Let’s just say I have never intentionally worn a veil, other than at my first wedding, and that marriage didn’t turn out so great. I’m not sure if I like the reference to doves or not. However, I like birds and doves are such peaceable little creatures, so why not? I’ll take that as a compliment.
Then we come to the part about my hair being like a flock of goats. Now I will admit that my hair has always been the bane of my existence, what with its natural frizz and mind of its own. But even on my worst hair days I resent my hair being referred to as a flock of goats. Is this really supposed to endear me to the poet who is trying to win my affection? I guess things were different back in ole’ Solomon’s day, although frankly, I can’t imagine any woman being flattered by that comparison.
Now my teeth are likened to sheep. What exactly is this saying? Are my teeth wooly? I’ll have you know I practice good oral hygiene. Then again, the verse says, “freshy shorn sheep,” so maybe it’s not as insulting as it might seem upon first glance. At least my teeth are white and paired up, so to speak. I imagine back in B.C. times, this was a huge plus since toothbrushes, as we know them, weren’t invented until fairly recently. Even the first bristle toothbrush, using boar hairs attached to wood or bone, didn’t come out until 1498. But I digress, as the thought of brushing my teeth with pig hair leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Pun intended.
Anyway, my point is that my dear hubby needs to stick to his own material, rather than plagiarize, especially from a man who had 300 wives and 700 concubines (or was it 700 wives and 300 concubines? I can never keep that straight). Makes me wonder how seriously his intended beloved took his ardent declaration of passion for her. As for me, I know how much my husband loves me. Who else can claim original poetry written just for them, like “Ode to Doggy Doo?”