I really love this poem. It's really great.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you like it. :)
This poem, I think, is quite realistic in terms of Severus and how he would have viewed the world after Lily’s death. I tend not to read a lot of stories with Severus reflecting upon Lily after her death; they can end up being quite clichéd and out of character for him. However, that said, I think that a poem is really more fitting for the state of mind that Severus must have been in at the time. If he was so affected by his feelings at that point, I don’t think that there would have been a terribly logical flow of ideas spouting from his head, which is what you need for a story. His thoughts would have been a little bit more disjointed and fairly narrowly focused, which is perfect for a poem. Excellent choice on the format for this situation.
If we take the idea that a younger Severus fell madly in love with Lily Evans and just never stopped, I could well imagine him questioning what love might actually be. He may have had a vague and fairly one-sided experience with it, but he had nothing tangible to hold on to really define the concept for him. Based on my interpretation Severus’ actions (which is by no means correct, of course), I think that he had a very one-sided affair with Lily Evans that turned into an obsession. It was as if he recognized the fact that he loved her and, when there was no reciprocation, he took that feeling and created an obsession around it.
That thought very interestingly fits in with your poem, here. You have Severus questioning what love actually is. Despite the fact that he’s had this obsessive infatuation with Lily for so many years, he really has no idea what love should be or what it should look like. That is, I think, a very painful and very realistic look at Severus and his psyche. There is really no way that he could have had a good understanding of love from simply carrying a flame around for one girl while he can easily see many more demonstrations of love all around him (i.e. Lily dying). That discrepancy between his actions and those of others would only create doubt in his mind, which would, of course, lead him to question what love is. So, with all that said, I think that you did a wonderful job at characterizing Severus, even though we don’t have as much time to see your characterization. You did a very good job at expressing his emotions through a minimum of very well selected words.
I quite liked that the entire poem was a series of questions. The format really contributed to Severus’ feelings of doubt and uncertainty about the nature of love. He never actually makes a statement of certainty about love in the entire poem. That consistency with the tone really solidified Snape’s characterization for me.
Was that love?
Will you find it again?
Will it find you again?
Those were wonderfully difficult lines to wrap my mind around. Severus seems almost vulnerable in those lines which, although he’s a very strong person, I think is absolutely in character for him at this point in his life. I like how that he’s so confused by what love is that he doesn’t know if he should seek it out or wait for it to fall into his lap and, when either happens, he isn’t sure if he would recognize the feeling. That is, I think, extremely profound and very much in character for him at the time.
You did a marvelous job with this poem!
Author's Response: Omigosh! Girl, you just made my year. Thank you so much! I think my head inflated a few inches just reading this. I am so glad you liked the poem. ~M_W