Posted by Word Camel on October 17, 2004
In Reply to: About love posted by TheFallen on October 17, 2004
: : : : Hi,
: : : : When talking about love which is about to end but still procrastinating or which has ended but of which sideeffect is still kickin in, how do you express the state of mind or such a situation in English? Person who is suffereing from a dying love wants to be cut-and-dried, but the result is in fact the other way around. Or, he/she wants to figure out what went wrong in the process of love but the more he/she wants to figure it out, the more confused he/she feels. Is there any word, noun, adjective, or phrase to describe the situation or the state of mind? Could you please give me sentences as examples? Thank you so much for your help!!
: : : : Non Native English Speark
: : : To carry a torch for someone is to still be in love with someone after the relationship has ended. "They have been divorced for a year but he still carries a torch for her."
: : : TO CARRY THE TORCH FOR ONE - "It is the torch of love that is understood in this modern American term, though sometimes no more than the torch of loyalty, for the 'torchbearer' is one who is loud in his praise of a friend. But the torch has long been an emblem of enlightenment and of burning devotion, and, in 1775, Richard Sheridan used the expression, 'The torch of love,' in his epilog to 'The Rivals.'" From "A Hog on Ice" by Charles Earle Funk (1948, Harper & Row, New York).
: : : Prolonging the agony. "It would be better if they had a clean break. But her ex-boyfriend prolongs the agony by calling her all the time."
: : Main Entry: 1post·mor·tem
: : Pronunciation: "pOs(t)-'mor-t&m
: : Function: adjective
: : Etymology: Latin post mortem after death
: : 1 : done, occurring, or collected after death Postmortem tissue specimens.
: : 2 : following the event
: : (Merriam-Webster)
: : "They stopped dating. She keeps wants to talk about what happened -- do a postmorten.
: The verb "to pine" would also apply here.
: VERB: Inflected forms: pined, pin·ing, pines
: INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To feel a lingering, often nostalgic desire. 2. To wither or waste away from longing or grief: "pined away and died."
I think post mortem is a little too clinical. I'd suggest to mourn since what you are describing is emotional turmoil. Although it tends to be associated with death, it applies equally to lost love
\Mourn\, v. t. 1. To grieve for; to lament; to deplore; to bemoan; to bewail.
As if he mourned his rival's ill success. --Addison.
And looking over the hills, I mourn The darling who shall not return. --Emerson.
2. To utter in a mournful manner or voice.
The lovelorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well. --Milton.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
On the other hand, if it were easy to express, there'd be no need for poetry. (note to Gary: I'm not sure what the copyright situation is with this, so I'll understand if you need pull it.)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone
by W. H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
by W. H. Auden