I chose this poem by Jennifer Franklin because when I read it, I instantly felt what the author was trying to say. The author is trying to convey that the first person you fall in love with is in every person you fall in love with after. Each person we love is in the next person we love. Franklin says in the first sentence:
“The boy beside me
is not you but he
is familiar in all
the important ways.”
We have some sort of list in our minds for who we fall in love with I believe. Despite when we seem to think "Oh such and such is so much different than the last person I dated" are they really that different? They might be different in the way that they don't have the qualities you disliked in the last person, but they have the same qualities you loved in them. Franklin goes through life knowing she is finding the same person repeatedly. She poses a question at the end of the third stanza into the fourth:
afflicted by my kindness, they leave
me with my music.”
I think the break in between “they leave” and “me with my music” helps to relay two meanings:
-that every person she is falling in love with keeps leaving.
-the phrase “me with my music” makes me believe they are leaving her in the same part of her life, continuing the same way she has always lived, and it doesn’t affect her as much as the time before maybe.
By using the word surrogate it also enforces that every person is just another version of her first love, the first guy she keeps trying to replace and just keeps falling in love with over and over again. Which she admits to in the poem by saying:
“I pass through life
finding you over
and over again—"
Her final sentence in the poem hit me in the heart in a way, because I felt the honesty in her words. Its like she is addressing every person she has and will fall in love with in her lifetime.
“I loved you before
I ever loved you.”
She knows the same person she originally fell in love with is in the person she falls in love with next. That sentence is a beautiful way to end the poem and to make sure the reader understands the meaning of her poem.