To Be…

An elegy by Gershon Maller, dedicated to Sophia, was recently selected for competition in the ACU Poetry Prize. The poem has now been published in the 2023 anthology, Love.

In linguistics and logic, the principal copula verb (connecting subject and predicate) is, in English, the verb “to be.”

I am. You are. She is.

Such a little word, is, the full meaning of which is only truly apparent to us when we must live the absence of it, when we must live with loss.

(there is) (no word) (for love)

 How do we speak of it? How do we distil the essence of love and grief and loss when, as Eliot says in Four Quartets: “Words strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden.” In Kantian terms, the “thing-in-itself” is inaccessible to us. How can we abstract love from its particularity?

Sophia (for whom Plato remained a philosophical touchstone) would reply in her precise way: “Yet Love is eternal.”

And so it is…