la douleur exquise

And ever so slowly
I fell in love
with you
while watching you
lost in worlds
far away from me
with the way
you lose yourself in stories
drifting to unreal places
desiring fictional novices
when you scribble hurriedly
when you smile contently
with the way you keep secrets
buried in your heart
only your eyes bearing testimony

And ever so slowly
I fell in love
with the way your eyes twitch
when you’re dreaming asleep
the way you blink rapidly
when you are
embarrassed or nervous
when your eyes turn a shade of red
just before the tears show up
the way you rub your nose
to swallow back the lump

And ever so slowly
I fell in love
with the way
you pretend shy and
avoid my eyes
when your cheeks turn pink
as you enjoy teasing me

when you tuck your hairs
behind your ears
the way your fingers curl
when you’ve finally given up
with the way
your shoulders quiver
when you succumb to your fears

And ever so slowly
I fell in love
with you
the you you don’t know
Yes, I fell in love
with your insecurities
with your fears and queers
not your skin
not the body
nor your curves
nor beauty

It wasn’t love at first
but it sure was my last
and even if
it took a lifetime
I would wait for you
with every breath and beat
because I’ll love you
even when you won’t love yourself
because I’ll love you


la douleur exquise is the #StoryofmyLife.
It is French and translates to
the exquisite pain of wanting someone that you know you can never have,
and knowing that you will still try to be with them.”
What did you think of the poetry?


Asha Seth

90 thoughts on “la douleur exquise

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  1. I really like the trepidation of your refrain, and how this builds over the course of the poem into certain, euphoric devotion. The juxtaposition between ‘first’ and ‘last’ in the final stanza is really moving as well 🙂 I love that this can be interpreted as the view of your dog, their unconditional loyalty is something we can never seem to fully understand or appreciate, and indeed many people seem to take it for granted, but your poem encapsulates the perspective beautifully 🙂


              1. something like this:
                almost instantly,
                i fell in love
                with you.
                while you watched me
                in surprise
                getting lost in your thoughts
                the way
                thirst gets lost in an ocean
                surrounded by elixir
                but no drop could quench
                i could only scribble
                fantasies, that expose my smile.
                i am not, that good at secrets anyways
                and i know
                you can see it in my eyes.

                or maybe totally different……?


                    1. Well, what can I say? I wanted to write a poem capturing my dog’s reactions at instances, when he is sad or happy. I’ve always wanted to get inside his head and find out what he was thinking when he bowed his classic ‘I-love-you’ bow or when he tugs at my dress for a walk. It’s incredible, their myriad ways of expression. And long speculation and observation, trying to fit things in, I could work this piece. 🙂
                      What do you say now?


                    2. I would say, you captured it beautifully……..if only he could read……I have not had a great history with dogs……but I know that affection and love that could inspire such poem…….and this is inspired work! 🙂 🙂


                    3. Dogs are living embodiment of the word ‘unconditional’ and that sparked my imagination. So much as a glance from the one they love, takes them to cloud nine. They would do just about anything to see you happy. It’s amazing the things they do. And yes, I wish he could read this.
                      Thank you, Pushkar.

                      Liked by 1 person

        1. Been okay. And I tried accessing the post you’d earlier mentioned. The link couldn’t be accessed. Please help me with that. Sadly, I do not recollect now which was the post you wanted me to read and review.


          1. Same here…I couldn’t recollect it…but there’s one I will like your review on…last eve I had posted it…its last part of a 3 part series but you can get the link to the previous parts in the essay itself…the essay is titled M: A Shade of Satisfaction…


    1. Guess you were away. Because nothing from you showed up in my reader. So here I am, saying, happy to have you back. 🙂
      The phrase ‘la douleur exquise’ is like a mine, excavated by us wordlovers, time and again, finding our own glories and treasures. 🙂 To me – it means everything I’ve every wanted. Period.
      How have you been? Care to share your story on ‘la douleur exquise’?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was away, yes. 🙂 And thank you! ^_^ Sich a beautiful phrase. *sigh*
        I’ve been good, and you?
        I have posted it on my blog, you can search for the phrase.:)If you cannot find it, I will share the link.


    1. Love makes us a lot of things, and one is tenderness and beautiful. I wanted to capture just that. When someone is loved, even though they may not love back, they are yet changed forever, in a way they never imagined. What you say to that? Sonya 🙂


    1. Yes, don’t we all want to be loved for who are within? That, exactly that, sparked my imagination. And you summed it for me – Lucky is the person who is loved for who she is and not her beauty – for beauty dies one day, virtues don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah!!! It took me to some place……. Sone beautiful place. And the time when I loved for the first time…….
    The poem is beautiful…..
    More beautiful is the feeling associated with it….


    1. It’s truly beautiful how each one of us has experienced indelible memories that last a lifetime with this thing called love, whether unrequited or reciprocated. 🙂


          1. This is an all encompassing verse. You have given the reader the perspective and the perceptions are amazing. I stays on in the mind after reading. The other perspective is damn interesting too. There is so much left to the reader’s imagination. That is the beauty of this piece. Bravo my girl. Smiles and Huggs ,


  3. As always, it is beautiful Asha! Every line translated to that pain that you describe in those last lines. It indubitably tugs at the heartstrings….
    Whether it is returned or not, this is how love is always meant to be. Pure, unconditional…


“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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