analysis of love poems

Analysis of Love Poems

In general, love is described as a number of emotions and experiences which evokes a strong sense of attachment and affection through practices of romance- the attempt to express love through words or action. Love does not have boarder lines and boundaries. It requires no established dictionary definition but only mortal realization of others to depict its extremities on many different areas, beyond that of which we can comprehend. The only place where we can begin to understand and define love, step by step is through the surreal world of poetry.

In this paper, I will compare and contrast love poems to investigate their similarities and differences, despite different elucidation of love by different poets.

All these poems share an identical theme in them, love which is targeted towards people. Yet, the definition of love is interpreted differently by different poets.

In my hypothesis, I believe that the characteristics of’ a typical love poem’ should surround one of the three central areas of love:

-Sexual Love

-Spiritual Love

-Love after marriage

Sexual love involves sexual desire, especially the trigger of feelings of anticipation of sexual activity. It not only involves the state of arousal and anticipation, moreover it represents an individual’s attempt of whatever means to trigger these emotions.

Last night, the poet expresses love through the engagement of sex. Her way of sex is compared with “dragonflies” “100 degrees in the sun”. Her depiction of sex is somewhat entertaining as she metaphorically describes herself as a larvae “twisting and twisting out of a chrysalis”. The act of sex is illustrated as a violent struggle “killing, death-grip holding to life”. The claustrophobic atmosphere is portrayed in the line “more like being closed in a great jaw and eaten”. The climax, hence the orgasm is contrasted to a metaphor “shudders like the ferry when its axle is loosed past engagement”. To the narrator, love equates to the lust to engage in sex, love is based on sexual desire. Self-explanatory speaking, this poem relates to sexual love.

Spiritual love is defined as the spiritual affection between two individuals where one recognizes the other as irreplaceable.

In the poem “ Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone”, suggest features of this type of love. Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone is a 4-stanza poem composed of heroic couplets written by W.H.Auden, one of the greatest writers in 20th century who conveyed the melancholy and futility of life after someone who was deeply lovedhad died in this poem. The speaker expressed deep profound grief as she requested the public to comprehend her feelings and should be nationally mourned, “Let aeroplanes circle….black cotton gloves.” His deep spiritual love was exhibited when the speaker described her lover as her compass and time to guide her “ He was my North, South…my song”. The speaker assumed that love would die with a person’s body, nevertheless her love still lingered on, which extended the feeling of lamentation. The speaker emphasized that nature was not needed no more without his presence, “The stars are not wanted now….wood”. The last line of the poem was very poignant, clarifying that the person who died meant everything to the speaker, as the speaker believed that “nothing now can ever come to any good.” This poem is a fine example of spiritual love that is developed between the living and the dead.

“To my Dear and Loving Husband”, written by Anna Bradstreet is a love poem composed with a two line rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter. Albeit sharing similar spiritual love with “Stop all the clock…”, the narrator is confessing her profound love towards her husband rather than mourning over the death of a person. “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, rivers cannot quench” a reference from “Song of Solomon”, expands on the point that their relationship is not based on materialistic needs. In the line “Nor aught but love from thee recompense”, the writer confirms that nothing can give equal satisfaction except love from you “Thy love is such I can no way repay; the heavens reward thee manifold pray” a heavenly image describes her asking heaven to reward him for his love and affection. The last two lines are interpreted that “love will live forever” and when they die, “we may live forever”. The poem is a touching display of love and affection which recognizes the spiritual presence of the other individual to make one’s mind complete.

A third example of spiritual love would be “Let me not to the marriage of true minds” written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare praises love in it’s purest form, that no “impediments” can be admitted. ”. ”Love is not love which alters when alliteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove…” True love is strong, persistent and can be in no way altered by adversity or time. True love is an ”ever-fixed mark’’ that “looks on tempest and is never shaken”, proves that the relationship is permanent by time as it can endure the arising obstacles in its path. ”love is therefore love”.. ”Whose worth unknown although the height may be taken”, love can be measured to some degree, but it would be irrational to claim we can comprehend the nature of true love as its worth is ”unknown”.” Love’s not Time’s fool, …. but it bears it out even to the edge of doom”. “Time” is interpreted as the enemy or the principal obstacle in the path of true love. ” Sickle” is alluded to “Grim reaper” draining life and beauty away, nevertheless love will not change. Love is described that there will be times when things go ‘wrong’, nevertheless true love means taking these ‘wrong’ things and trying to fix them.

Explicitly speaking, love after marriage involves the maintaining of a relationship after marriage. Some couples may be committed eternally, a fine example of spiritual love. However, in today’s modern society, is it still possible to witness a fairy tale love stories? “Wedding Ring” portrays the symbolism of a wedding-ring showing the tone of sadness and the pain at an end of a relationship. “Wedding-ring” symbolizes commitment of marriage (eternal love), on the other hand the poet views it as a burden on whoever owns the ring. We recognize that the protagonist is divorced by the phrase “Nothing will come …onto my finger again” and explains that the protagonist has lost hope on “betrothal”, hence commitment. It “lies among keys to abandon homes…idle paperclips”, symbolizes that the ring, hence the marriage is useless when love is gone. This shows that the ring to her is like a symbol of “ill-luck” if given to someone else since the protagonist marriage is not successful. “It can’t be sold for the marriage was good in its own time, though that time is gone”. The protagonist protests that the wedding ring cannot be given away as a “simple gift to friendship” or changed into a “dazzling circlet that the living will not keep”, emphasizes her pain and burden when supposedly ever-lasting love has faded after marriage which lead to divorce.

As the title suggests, “To the ladies” is aimed at a female audience, a strong persuasive poem consisting of heroic couplets”. The poem aims to influence and encourage ladies not to be married to a commitment as once married, “wife” is described to have equal meaning to “servant”. For when “the fatal knot has tied”, “obey has been said” and “the law supreme has made”, your husband’s kindness is “laid aside”, leaving only “state and pride”. True personality shines through showing his inborn “rigor”, where the wife cannot “laugh, look or speak”, or else the marriage “contract will be broken”. The wife can “never take any freedom”, and be “mute” and is forever bound to the “nod” of his husband feared as “god”. No matter what she says to him, he would always have a smarter remark back. “Shun the wretched state”, in other words damn them women take your freedom and your pride, “value yourselves” and “despise men”. Only then you are wise. The poet delivers a strong warning to ladies describing the cruelty and reality of love after marriage.

Apart from the three main features of love, there were poems which suggest exceptions, “On her loving two equally”, the protagonist is struggling emotionally between two men, Damon and Alexis. The speaker never acknowledged the significance of Alex’s love without the “aid” of Damon’s to “gain her love” nor would Damon “subdued her love” “had not Alexis too his part”. This accentuates to a dilemma where her love is “made stronger” when it is divided into two. When “Alexis is present” she “sighs and mourns” for Damon whilst she “scorns” Damon when “Alexis is amiss” conveys that she appreciates one’s love when one is absent. The next stanza, she pleads Cupid to cure her, a cry for true love over the conflict of mind and body. The theme of love in this story cannot be interpreted as the three features of love because one can only love an individual unselfishly, there is no element of lust and obviously the protagonist is not married. The love can be inferred to “selfish” love as the victims of their “love triangle” are in jeopardy.

”A Last confession” is another poem which self-consciously does not fit my hypothesis of love. This poem describes the misery of the protagonist as she struggles between the tension of physical and spiritual love. The first two stanzas speak of irony, as the narrator meant to give her “soul”, but only found “misery”. When she intended to give only sex, her lover thought she “gave” her soul, due to the physical “passion” as “beast gave beast as much”. The narrator goes on that albeit physical attraction is similar of “what other women”, only her love who “has found shall find therein” can appreciate her uniqueness of her soul. When soul is “naked”, after death, the soul will communicate directly to soul, and subsequently the narrator will be in “delight”. Yet, it leaves an open question, as who the soul will spiritually connect with. This category of love does not fit into my definitions of love. Sexual love is involved; however it is not appreciated by the other individual who regards this as an act of emotional passion. Spiritually speaking, he “fancies” that the narrator gives her soul but she only received pain in return. Therefore it contains features of sexual and spiritual love.

From intimate evaluation of the poems, I have concluded my analysis on love. Love cannot be simply defined by words, as it is comprised of various emotions which make up love.

Spiritual love is the synergy of two souls inhabiting one body. More precisely, it is the act of unselfishness directed towards the well being of a beloved without the need of reciprocation. The beloved individual is regarded as “irreplaceable” by any materialistic elements. Love will not change notwithstanding the “tempests” and alterations on its journey. Love is about utmost devotion and sacrifice for another. This type of love exists in the living as well as between the living and the deceased.

Sexual love is based on sexual desire. It may involve an immediate response of acts of romance to satisfy lust – the sexual desire to have sex with another individual. In other words, it is based on one’s love on the physical appearance of another individual and the derivation of pleasure from sex.

Many people believe that marriage, the love “bond” strengthens as the years go by. Nonetheless, many poets think otherwise. Love after marriage is depicted as spiteful from their poems. The “gifts” that follow marriage are useless and cannot be given away. Besides, the revelation of true personality causes many control and manipulation issues in shortcomings, not foreseen during courtship.

In conclusion, love is classified into stages rather than categories, where one may lead to the consequence of another.


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