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One Cigarette | A Sad Love Story - Made Entirely From Free Video Stock Footage Royalty free B-Rolls

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Narrated Text
One Cigarette by Edwin Morgan
No smoke without you, my fire. After you left, your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal of so much love. One cigarette in the non-smoker's tray. As the last spire trembles up, a sudden draught blows it winding into my face. Is it smell, is it taste? You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips. Out with the light. Let the smoke lie back in the dark. Till I hear the very ash sigh down among the flowers of brass I'll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss. Edwin Morgan’s “One Cigarette” (1968) breathes life into poetry through an everyday scene: a single cigarette left smoldering in an ashtray. This is probably my favourite love poem, or at least the one that I can recall most vividly even if I haven’t read it in a while. It captures an intensity of intimacy, love and loss which is rare even for love poems. Of course that’s why I like it, love poems should not be shy about how melodramatic they are. I have read interpretations of this poem which claim it’s about a breakup but I think those miss the point. There is not much in the text to suggest the relationship is over or the lover will never return. Rather, the speaker’s loss is that of an interrupted intimacy, not interrupted love. The cigarette recreates this intimacy through its smells and tastes (“Is it smell, is it taste?/ You are here again”) and sounds (“I hear the very ash/ sigh down”).


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