10th anniversary, or: Chaya Margarita

The poem below was my gift to my wife on the occasion of our 10th anniversary on the Hebrew calendar, which is tonight (the 1st of Elul). It’s actually two separate poems, as you shall see, because I wrote it as an acrostic of my wife’s name, which is Chaya Margarita.

  • Chaya is a Hebrew name, which means life or soul in biblical Hebrew, and the ‘CH’ at the beginning is actually a hard ‘Ḥ’ sound, which does not exist in English. In Hebrew, it’s one letter: ‘ח’ (heth).
  • Margarita is a name in Latin and Eastern European languages, originally derived from Persian, meaning ‘pearl’, a cognate with the Sanskrit मञ्जरी (mañjarī) meaning ‘pearl’ or ‘cluster of blossoms’.

Once I decided to write an acrostic poem, which felt touchingly personal to me, I decided to look for poetic forms that matched the number of letters in Chaya (5) and Margarita (9). My intention was for the two poems to flow as one – so I looked for two forms with the same meter.

Ultimately, I settled upon a ‘Sicilian Quintain’ (5) and a ‘Spenserian Stanza’ (9), both of which employ iambic pentameter, with the exception of the Spenserian Stanza’s final line, which is written in iambic hexameter. The first poem focuses upon my beloved herself, and the second poem relates to our marriage.

After I’d completed the poem(s), I used Canva to put my work on a nice background with an an attractive font (not a strength of mine). After exploring several different alternatives, I settled upon a light purple theme with some green leaves on it – purple is my wife’s favorite color, and [dark forest] green is mine. Also, the frame I purchased for the gift itself is green, which matches those leaves and draws out their color.


Sicilian Quintain

Could there be living a woman kinder?
Having searched for years, I must conclude not.
Angelic eyes - my daily reminder -
Yestern good deeds she so humbly forgot.
Always awed that Someone helped me find her.


Spenserian Stanza

Marriage ~ this holy, lifelong endeavor,
At the root of our young family tree.
Rearing our dearest daughter together,
Gifting courage to face all that could be,
As love's binding us, as embrace sets free.
Reflecting upon these years we have shared,
I think of some tests we couldn't foresee.
Though lovers can never be quite prepared,
Adoration these heartstrings in union ensnared.

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