“Romeo and Juliet” by Richard Brautigan


As Valentine’s Day draws nearer, I thought it would be appropriate to share this poem by Richard Brautigan which was originally published in Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt.

If you will die for me,
I will die for you

and our graves will
be like two lovers washing
their clothes together
in a laundromat.

If you will bring the soap,
I will bring the bleach.

I like this poem. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Brautigan uses dirty laundry as a symbol for the cynicism that soils our souls throughout our lives. Upon death, our souls are cleansed, much like clothes in the wash. I envision the souls of the two star-crossed lovers, caught up and spinning in the celestial gyre as they rise toward the heavens. Finally, after being cleansed of the jaded ideals of love, the two are able to share in the true beauty of love.

One other thing I would like to point out regarding this poem. The two lovers do not have to go through physical death to attain this state. The death can certainly be symbolic of letting go of personal baggage, thereby allowing a sort of rebirth and spiritual cleansing.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a blessed day.


Filed under Literature

2 responses to ““Romeo and Juliet” by Richard Brautigan

  1. What an interesting poem with the mention of the laundromat! Not an image you’d expect to attach to a blog post titled Romeo and Juliet 🙂

    • Hiya Christy! I hope you are well.

      Yeah, Brautigan was an interesting writer and used some very creative imagery. His poetry is cool, but really, I think his genius lies in his fiction. “Trout Fishing in America” and “The Abortion” are two classics, imho, which I feel everyone should read. It’s been many many years since I read one of his novels. I may have to reread one again for a blog post in the near future.