Is your vase brisé?

As a writer, I've always found it tough to write about love. I dread being trite and cliche, and whenever I try to express my feelings on paper, whatever comes out usually sounds forced and filtered--at least to my ears. However, there have been a few times that I've felt I've done a decent job. The majority of the translated poems by Sully Prudhomme that I came across have themes of love or relationships, and just like with my own poems, there are some that I appreciate and some that I would probably never share with my own lover.

Of the poems of Sully's that I've found, I like Le Vase Brisé (The Broken Vase) the most. The speaker of the poem compares the heart, wounded "by the hand we love," to a vase "cracked by a blow from a fan." Just as a crack in a vase may widen and cause it to leak, letting the water within drain and the flower in it to die, the wounded heart often "cracks by itself / and the flower of its love dies."

Because the crack is small and spreads slowly, the leak in the vase isn't suspected. The speaker points out that the heart, too, is perceived to be intact--unharmed--"in the eyes of the world." I probably appreciate this poem the most because I can relate to this image. I can recall several times when my own feelings have gone unnoticed by those around me, or when I've overlooked the anguish of another.

Sully's poem leads me to reflect on those times when my feelings do go unnoticed, and to wonder how I could be more aware of the feelings of those around me. The speaker cautions the reader to not touch the cracked vase or the wounded heart. "It's broken. Don't touch!" What would happen if someone were to do so? How could one further harm the heart? What would the repercussions be?

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