Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Down in the Valley Below

Lower, descend lower into the valley below
And there beside the little hut you’ll see the one I know.
He carries a staff of ancient oak and in his hand an axe.
I loved you. Do you know it? Down in the valley below.
When we were kids we used to play and tease and laugh and sing.
Come to me and we will be forever dancing by the sea.
I loved you. You know it now. Deeper in the valley below.
Down in the hut where the old man stands with a wooden staff and an axe, 
Tracing my fingers over your skin, a breath between our lips, 
I love you still, my love. And there is nowhere deeper to go.



  1. Very evocative! Powerful memory or metaphor???

  2. okei has no idea. :^) Take it as you will. I wrote this back in July, but only posted it now. If anyone can explain it to me or give their interpretation, I'd actually appreciate it, lol.

  3. When doing the Japanese "Haikus on Love" post recently, I came across the following by Abutsu Ni (1209-1283), but it was too long to include.

    Who knows that
    in the depths of the valley
    of the mountain of my hidden heart
    a firefly of my love is ablaze?

  4. Thinking more on this... on the literal level this is childhood love realized as adult love, but what does the old man represent with the staff of ancient oak and the axe?

    At the risk of opening myself up to psychoanalysis, his presence at the beginning and also in the past seems like a sign of constancy, like a guardian. (But it's unclear whether he's still there at the end or whether the "you" has replaced him.) The oak maybe symbolizes endurance and the staff wisdom. The axe perhaps hard work and struggling to overcome frustrating obstacles. So all in all, a sign of steady determination and knowledge, the latter emphasized by the fact he stands deep in the valley, and knowledge is found "below", by digging... something that had occurred to me only fairly recently.

    The "you" could represent the loved one, but perhaps it might have an alternative metaphorical meaning also, for example of Beauty.

    And then there's the "I". And as for that, I really have no clue. Even the gender of the "I" isn't clear.

    So putting it all together, what to make of it? Any further ideas anyone...

  5. Ah,

    This is a coming of age thing of sorts... love of this sort is very powerful because it has a history before it starts.

  6. the man represents authority

  7. Here is a poem that reminds me of yours by William Blake- From. "songs of experience"


    I went to the garden of Love,
    And I saw what I had never seen:
    A Chapel was built in the midst,
    Where I used to play on the green.

    And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
    And Thou shall not. writ on the door.
    So I turn'd to the garden of Love
    That so many sweet flowers bore.

    And I saw it was filled with graves,
    And Priest in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
    And binding with briars, my joys and desires.

  8. She says with authority. :^) Thanks for the idea. You understand much better than me. I wish you'd explain. Does the "coming of age" of love involve taking on authority?

  9. I suck at expalining...

    But maybe a tarot card can illustrate this better than I.

    The lovers.... It shows a man in between symbols of two different types of love....

    He must choose...

    Are you familiar with this card?

  10. Great video!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. Not familiar with tarot at all, but to use a symbol to explain is a brilliant idea. I will look into it. ;^)

  12. I think different decks have different meanings.... there is one with Japanese art that has the explanation that might be helpful..... i wish I could remember the name of the deck... i'll get back to you if I do

  13. Philias, brotherly love; Eros, passionate love and; Agape, Godly love.

    So the choice you were referring to was presumably between the spiritual union of Agape and the lust of Eros? Does it have to be a choice, lol.

    This poem is more a progression from Philias to Eros though. So where were we about authority?

  14. I guess I would have to ask you this question

  15. I think I've figured this out a bit better with the help of the discussion in my other thread.

    So the progression is from Philias to Eros, but the choice in the tarot card you mentioned between two different types of love is nothing to do with these categories. It is the choice of Eros without power/responsibility (erotic love) and Eros with power/responsibility (romantic/chivalrous love).

    The old man representing some or all of authority, power, care, responsibility, respect, commitment, determination & knowledge is outside the hut (of love?) to begin with, but at the end of the poem is within it, so as well as a progression from Philias to Eros, there is a progression from childhood love to true adult love, love imbued with power.