Power in Silence

By Michael Field Michael Field
I

Though I sing high, and chaunt above her,
Praising my girl,
It were not right
To reckon her the poorer lover;
   She does not love me less
For her royal, jewelled speechlessness,
She is the sapphire, she the light,
The music in the pearl.


II

Not from pert birds we learn the spring-tide
   From open sky.
   What speaks to us
Closer than far distances that hide
In woods, what is more dear
Than a cherry-bough, bees feeding near
In the soft, proffered blooms? Lo, I
Am fed and honoured thus.


III

She has the star’s own pulse; its throbbing
   Is a quick light.
She is a dove
My soul draws to its breast; her sobbing
   Is for the warm dark there!
In the heat of her wings I would not care
My close-housed bird should take her flight
   To magnify our love.

Source: The Literature of Lesbianism (2003)

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Poet Michael Field

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Relationships, Romantic Love

Holidays Valentine's Day

Biography

Under the pseudonym Michael Field, Katherine Harris Bradley and her niece Edith Emma Cooper collaboratively published eight books of poetry and twenty-seven plays in late 19th-century Britain. The two women enjoyed a warm reception as Field in Victorian literary circles upon the release of their first major verse drama, Callirhoë and Fair Rosamond (1884), even garnering the admiration of Walter Pater, George Meredith, and Robert . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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