Pretty Bjorn & Stella Plain
Seeing these two in the same room together today brought to mind an Ellen Bryant Voigt poem from her book Two Trees:
Because it is a curse to be beautiful
and thus dismissed by other men,
the pretty man often wants to marry
mind, or grit, or great heart undistracted.
This is not the same as the lovely woman
who marries someone plain; she knows
the world’s assessment has been wrong,
knows she is a fraud and proclaims it
with that mirror. The handsome man feels
no such scorn; yes, he is as gorgeous
as they say, but it’s not a useful currency,
except with the plain woman who marries him
as one would pocket found-money or plant a rose.
But the plain man, the homely man, the man
hunched like a cricket or built like a jug,
who marries beauty and covets his own wife,
the man who weeps when he has her, weeps when she’s gone—
remember Menelaus, how he burned?