wherefore art thou “best friend?”

1 Jan

Image

Best Friend,–

“BEST FRIEND?!” Wherefore art thou best friend?

These words that should smell sweet just pierce like thorns.

What but more words will make my sorrow end?

If only I’d heard sooner those damned battle horns!

I cannot think what more I could have done

to eschew that title which we both now bear–

Such a fool! To think I had the whole war won…

But we (woe is we!) we two can never be a pair.

And yet, I dare not admit defeat:

My victory will be self-sacrifice

When I see you two lovers meet,

I will be nice. I will be nice.

I’ll smile and mean, “I’m happy for you!”

And hope and pray my tragedy’s almost through.

***

I know it’s unusual for the author to analyze a poem of their own creation, but I felt like explaining what I wanted to portray for a few reasons: 1) I don’t want to forget what I originally intended, so why not write it down? 2) If anyone actually reads my blog, I’d appreciate some feedback as to what works and what doesn’t. So. Here goes nothing.

This sonnet is obviously inspired by the bard, but I’ll just explain a bit about some of the things I tried to do. The first line is meant to portray the narrator reading a letter addressed to “Best Friend.” That’s because, well… I got that letter a while back. The admittedly cliche thorns line was meant to be an allusion to the famous rose metaphor (is it technically a metaphor?) associated with Juliet’s balcony scene: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

I’ll skip ahead to the final quatrain. The repetition of “I will be nice” hopefully makes it clear that the narrator is trying to convince herself as well. I mention self-sacrifice, which initially refers to the narrator playing nice and also alludes to the suicides at the play’s end. This, coupled with the final line, could make the narrator seem suicidal.

ALTERNATIVELY, for those optimists out there, I wanted the last line to also be read as a hope that the tragedy within the narrator’s life, rather than the life as a whole, is almost through. (Or that, as the remaining Montagues and Capulets discover Romeo and Juliet’s true love at the end of the play, so would the narrator find out that her love is, in fact, reciprocated.)

And for the record: I’m not suicidal. Just jealous.

Pic from www.afoolsjourney.com

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