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The Day of the Broken Heart

"Most wounds can
Time repair;
But some are mortal — these:
For a broken heart there is no balm,
No cure for a heart at ease —"

~ At Ease, Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

The pain of a broken heart or unrequited love is a subject for artists, writers, and poets with references dating back to biblical times. A universal emotion and experience, the complex emotions of the heart are touchingly rendered by special words in other languages which describe shades longed for, lost, broken, or unrequited love including: La douleur exquise (French, the heartbreaking pain of wanting someone you can’t have), and Saudade (Portuguese, a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for for an absent or unattainable something or someone that one loves). Wishing kindness and heartsease to all. ❤️

"Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,

Could ever hear by tale or history,

The course of true love never did run smooth."

~A Midsummer NIght's Dream, William Shakespeare

A universal experience and emotion, the pain of a broken heart is recognized throughout history.  There are special words in other languages to describe the indescribable - words for for lost, broken-hearted, or unrequited love. 


Here are some of them:

  • Saudade – Portuguese - The feeling of intense longing for a person or place you love but is lost to you.  A haunting desire for what is gone or for what cannot be.

  • Mamihlapinatapei – Yagan - A wordless, yet meaningful look between two people who both desire to initiate something, but both are too scared to initiate themselves.

  • Koi No Yokan – Japanese - The sudden knowledge upon meeting someone that the two of you are destined to fall in love.

  • La douleur exquise – French - The heartbreaking pain of wanting someone you can’t have.

  • Ya’aburnee – Arabic - This phrase translates to “you bury me.” This is the hope that the person you love will outlive you so you can spare the pain of living without them.

  • Forelsket – Norwegian - That overwhelming euphoric feeling you experience when you’re falling in love with someone.

  • Onsra – Boro language of India - Loving for the last time; that bittersweet feeling you get when you know a love won’t last.

  • Kilig – Tagalog - The heady-sublime rush you experience right after after something good happens, particularly in love/dating. Like running into your crush, kissing someone for the first time, hearing someone you love tell you they love you too for the first time.

  • Cavoli riscaldati – Italian - This literally means “reheated cabbage” but the phase describes the moment when you attempt to start up a failed relationship or love affair.

  • Iktsuarpok – Inuit - The anticipation you feel when you’re waiting for someone to come over to your house.

  • Kara sevde – Turkish - Meaning “black love” this is a lovesick term for when you feel that passionate, blinding love for another person.

  • Viraag – Hindi - The emotional pain of being separated from a loved one.

  • Yuanfen – Chinese - A relationship by fate or destiny.

  • Razbliuto  – Russian - The sentimental feeling you can often feel towards someone you used to loved but no longer do. 

Inspired by the colours of the pre-Raphaelite painting, "The Pained Heart (Sigh No More, Ladies)" by Arthur Hughes, 1868, this tartan embodies the bright colours and dark shades between love, passion and heartbreak. 

For a compilation of poignant quotes from literature about the heart, click "The Pained Heart."

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