Tuesday, 27 August 2013

'Embarking' - wedding poem

This is the poem that I recently read at the wedding of one of my best friends. Guernsey boy James has just married the wonderful Ingrid whose family is French and Mexican so I tried to write something which would capture the international flavour of the occasion as well as the couple's adventurous spirit. 

Sonnet spotters out there will notice the reference in the poem to Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 (perhaps the archetypal wedding poem). I've taken the beautiful image from that sonnet of Love being the 'star to every wandering bark' ('bark' here meaning ship) and tried to develop this idea to comment on the importance of how we speak to our loved ones from day to day. Hope you like it!

Thanks to Utah-based illustrator Corey Egbert for permission to use the lyrical image above.


English heart, French romance and Spanish amor
have cracked the champagne on your vessel's side,
but what will fill its sails once you're abroad
day after day? The sea charts I could find
were triple-tongued and even the sagest
advice seemed far flung. The right star might lead
across oceans but that still leaves those days
together trimming the sails, working the breeze.
Une ├ętoile. Una estrella. A star.
Such faith is raised on the strength and shape of breath,
so however we name the night sky's mark,
it's gusts and zephyrs which matter most on deck.
Let all your words breathe the love at your core:
your sails will fill forever, siempre, toujours.

by Magnus Buchanan