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Sealed With a Kiss

By February 5, 2013

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Cyrano de BergeracSo much has been said (and written) about the simplest of gestures: a kiss. Is it a kiss to say hello? Goodbye? Is it the kiss of betrayal, or an expression of friendship? Perhaps, it express some spoken (or unspoken) passion? It could be the author's way of building passionate intensity.

We want and need to know: Where do we go from here. Is the kiss an end, or just a beginning of everything that will unfold for the characters in the pages to follow? For some characters, it would appear safer to let the story unfold--without analyzing the kiss too much. At least we--as readers--are not in danger of jinxing the relationship as we try to decipher the lines. We can let our imaginations go wild, and then let ourselves be drawn back to the text: the poem, story, novel--to see what the final authorial intent is.

There's so much imagery surrounding the advent of a kiss...

Victor Hugo wrote: "How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said."

Percy Bysshe Shelly wrote, "What are all these kissings worth, / If thou kiss not me?"

In The Kiss, Kate Chopin's Harvey quietly tells the girl, "I've stopped kissing women; it's dangerous."

Yes, books must be dangerous too. We are haunted by the most beautiful passages--so many experiences, seen through the lives of those indelibly and artfully drawn lovers. So, let the lines draw you forward. Dream a little dream, and imagine all those moments in literary history. Which one is your favorite? Do you remember a particular kiss?

In Cyrano de Bergerac Edmond Rostand wrote: "And what is a kiss, specifically? A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb 'to love.' A kiss is a message too intimate for the ear, infinity captured in the bee's brief visit to a flower, secular communication with an aftertaste of heaven, the pulse rising from the heart to utter its name on a lover's lip: 'Forever.'"


February 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm
(1) Carlos says:

This is not a classic but a famous novel. Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara kissed passionately to Ashley Wilkes.
And in other moment, Rhett Butles kissed Scarlett O’Hara.

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