Song of Solomon
How we cite our quotes:
"Some women love too hard. She watched over him like a pheasant hen. Nervous. Nervous love." (2.10.243)
So, despite the fact that this is a world in which men like to fly off and leave their women folk, Jake (Milkman’s grandfather) keeps returning and appearing before Pilate. And not only that, he keeps calling out for his wife, as though she were the one who left him. It’s surprising then when we hear Circe tell us that Sing was afflicted with the same kind of nervous love that runs rampant throughout the novel. Jake is the one bemoaning the loss of his wife.
Exactly the way he’d heard it would be, his life flashed before him, but it consisted of only one image: Hagar bending over him in perfect love, in the most intimate sexual gesture imaginable. (2.11.279)
We’ve looked through the Kama Sutra several times to see if we can find the sexual position that best fits this description. Despite the fact that we truly, truly want to believe that this is real true love that Milkman is finally feeling and recognizing, we can’t help but notice that Hagar’s going crazy at home for him and that there is still something subservient and imbalanced about this image of "perfect love." Is this the most perfect vision of love we have in Song?
"Love shouldn’t be like that. Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? You go up top and what do you see? His head. The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, because the clouds let him; they don’t wrap him up. They let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him." (2.13.306)
Guitar could be Cupid. Seriously, the man can philosophize. He has a weepy, loony Hagar on his hands, and he tells her the most practical, sage thing he possibly could. He tells her that love is not about consuming, suffocating, owning the other person. The man is a voice of reason. And yet he’s also a murderer. Killing out of love. So much ambiguity in this novel!! We can’t pin anyone down.