Thursday, April 14, 2011

Love Letters

Reading of the Epitaph by Carl Nelson

The Love Letter
                       -by Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov

Letter of love so strangely thrilling
With all your countless wonder yet,
Though Time our heart's hot fires have mastered,
Bringing a pang of pained regret!
The while your blest receiver holds you,
His banished passions still rebel,
No longer reason sacrifices
His sentiment,--so then farewell!
Destroyed be this love-token treasured!
For if 'tis read when time has flown,
Deep in the buried soul 'twill waken
The torment vanished days have known.
At first but a light scorn arousing
For silly childishness,--at last
With fiery yearning overwhelming,
And jealousy for all the past.

O Thou, from whom a myriad letters
Speak with the breath of love to me,
Though my gaze rest on thee austerely,
Yet, yet,--I cannot part with thee!
Time has revealed with bitter clearness
How little thou with truth wert blessed,
How like a child my own behaviour--
Yet, dear to me I still must save
This flower scentless, without colour,
From off my manhood's early grave!

I saw Love Letters, a 1983 movie, twice and would like to watch it again.
Rating: R · Genre: Drama · Run time: 1 hrs 38 min

Synopsis: Unmarried disc jockey Jamie Lee Curtis happens across a packet of love letters, written by her late mother. As she peruses these missives, she learns that her mother had carried on a lengthy extramarital affair. At firt appalled by mom's "double life," Curtis is slowly brought around to another way of thinking. Soon she has embarked on her own romance with an older man, the very married James Keach. Well cast and sensitively directed, Love Letters is a purposely "small" films that deserves a larger audience. The film was also released as My Love Letters and Passion Play.  [Source: Bing Movies]

The following video is a real blast from the past for many American television viewers. From an episode of the John and Leeza from Hollywood show (1993-94), here they are interviewing Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers about their starring roles in the play Love Letters. My mother and I saw Wagner and Powers in the play in Portland and they were fabulous. The play -- not to be confused with the movie mentioned above -- is the famous two-character play written by A. L. Gurney.
Love Letters is a Pulitzer Prize for Drama nominated play by A. R. Gurney. The play centers on just two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. Using the epistolary form sometimes found in novels, they sit side by side at tables and read the notes, letters and cards - in which over nearly 50 years, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats - that have passed between them throughout their separated lives. [Source: Wikipedia]

  • My own love letters? I saved nearly every one of them written to me by others and wish I had made copies of the ones I wrote.



susan said...

I don't think anyone ever wrote me a love letter until my husband did in the years we were separated while I was to be allowed into the US. He also wrote wonderful stories for my son and his best friend. The letters are gone; the stories remain.

The poem is very nice. Age must forgive and learn to look fondly on the high ideals and passions of youth. To not do so is to risk losing the meaning of our lives.

ds said...

Lovely poem; the Jamie Lee Curtis movie sounds interesting (wonder if it is still around somewhere).
Wanted to see that play. Never got to. Oh, well. "Letter of love so strangely thrilling." Yes.

Lydia said...

susan~ I so enjoy your deep comments...that second paragraph is beautiful indeed. As to the first paragraph, a group of love letters is no substitute for the real thing - and you kept your real thing through all the years, which is lovely and rare. Congratulations to you both!

ds~ I was surprised, when I searched for the play, how numerous are the productions described in many links. There are even youtube videos of scenes from playhouses. It is a prolific play and I bet it will be back around you way at some time. I would see it again and would be interested in how a two different actors would bring their own unique readings to the lines.
(The movie may be available, not sure, hope so...and is def. 'R'...)

mythopolis said...

Makes me think of one of my favorite songs: Kitty Lester singing 'Love letters straight from your heart...'

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Were Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers in everything together? I don't think i've ever seen them apart

If you are able to get hold of a recording of Alyson Moyet's version of "Love Letters" you should have a listen - she, like your film, is an artist that deserves much wider acclaim

I looked through my old diaries a while ago (i havent kept one since teenage years) and was surprised as how immature i still was aged 17.

Darlene said...

I think the letters my husband wrote me when we were engaged are in a box someplace. I will have to get out the box containing the letters our son wrote when he was in the Navy. I kept everyone of those.

Sometimes love letters are not written by a boyfriend, husband or an admirer, but are written by your child.

Love is the loveliest emotion and makes the world go around, as they say.

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ I absolutely had that song in my mind while working on the post...and since. :)

Pixies~ Hmmmm. I wonder if the Love Letters done by Ms. Moyet is the same song as the one referred to by mythopolis. In any case, I am not familiar with her name and on your suggestion will check her out.
Looking at old diaries is def. weird for me. I sure took myself seriously back then!

Darlene~ I loved your comment. It really made me think. You are so right that love letters do not need to come from a romantic interest. After reading your comment I thought about all the letters between my mother and me when we lived in different states. I do not have them consolidated, those I kept, but will keep them in mind when I am going through boxes. They are definitely love letters. Will you share some tidbits of the letters from your son at your blog, possibly?

Erin Davis said...

I know I've told you this before, but I continue to be amazed at the way you pull things together and juxtapose them in your blog! Have you seen the Steven Webber/Laura Linney version of Love Letters?

Lydia said...

Erin~ That tickles me; thanks! No, I have not seen that version and I so admire Laura Linney. I wonder if it is on film or if they tour with the play. Shall look into it.

Erin Davis said...

You can rent it or watch it instantly through Netflix. :-)

Roxana said...

but i wonder whether they still exist today, or only in the shape of emails... an entire culture seems lost, and with that an entire world, since nothing can replace the feeling of holding a love letter in your hands, delaying the moment of opening it, the heart beating too fast...

NaNi said...

Interesting poem, i like a lot,nice and cool heart touching letter.

Professional Letters

Lydia said...

Erin~ How about that?! I really should get us signed up with Netflix. :)

Roxana~ Agreeing fully that emails just cannot be a substitute. I guess this could change a certain structure to love as it has been known for ages. However.....while working on this post I found a group of youtube vids on the topic: How to write a love letter. Maybe there will be a renewed interest in it as an art form!

NaNi~ Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to write it. :)

Micheal Belayudam said...

amazing poem!
I like the way you narrated the poem.

Letters of Intent

Lydia said...

Michael Belayudam~ Many thanks for your visit and comment.

maddy said...

simple ways to express all the good stuff in there..




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