Love…What Poetry has Taught Me…

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I love love. I love the concept of love. I love being in love. I love feeling and giving love.

There are hundreds of poems about love, dating back from biblical Solomon, to Marlowe, to Shakespeare, to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the list could go on. In my miniscule 20 odd years on this earth, I’ve come to understand that love is at times a distant echo in the wind or a fragile ornament trying to overcome struggles and obtain its strength. Now, if you’re reading this, you might be thinking ‘oh Gravity you’re so morbid,’ but I assure you, this is only but one perception, with examples of course.

Let’s hit on Solomon first – scripture documents,
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.” (Solomon 1:2)     AND
Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick.” (Solomon 2:5)

Now first of all. Wow. Just WOW! I mean, if this is scriptural meditation then count me in…

Solomon was a king of great taste, wisdom and profound words. Love as portrayed through the book of Solomon is as sweet as honey, as marvelous as the sun’s smile and as precious as morning dew. It is better than wine and I’m going to assume and rephrase this to be the ‘BEST’ wine in the world! It makes one crave sustenance and the need to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Talk about olden days and times going all out.

Second in line, is Christopher Marlowe. Now what Marlowe did, was to pen a phrase that has transcended his 1604 tragedy Doctor Faustus. It reads “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?” Now what stands out most is the first part of the quote, which signifies beauty and echoes love and stinks of fool-hearted obsessed men willing to do anything for a woman. In this case wage war on Troy back in the day (ancient of course).

Following Marlowe is the great Shakespeare and funny enough, they were born and lived around the same time period. As a teenager I had to study Shakespeare. As an adult I had to study Shakespeare. I guess the teaching of Literature finds Shakespeare well-rounded? There are numerous poems and plays by Shakespeare that revolve around love. From the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet which portrays a fatalistic love, to Sonnets that speak of ‘summer’s days (Sonnet 18)’ and ‘loves that can’t be compared (Sonnet 130).’

Come with me now to a female who sought to tell us how much she loved. Quantifiable? I never thought love was so, but this poem by Elizabeth Browning “How Do I Love Thee?” seeks to tell us the heights, depths and breadth of love she possessed, “I love thee freely…I love thee purely…I shall but love thee better after death.” Talk about a love that transcends time, space and the after life.

What proves gripping about love is that it can be anything, nothing and a wealth of in-betweens. It holds premise on infatuation, where you ache to know everything about the person. You want to be around them, watch their every move and register their every breath, maybe even just look While they Sleep. Love may not even be romantic and can just be that motivation you have, just another rung on the ladder of what is Life, Love and the Grind. Love may even cause you to hurt or explode like a bomb about to Detonate and if its cruel enough, it can squeeze your heart bloodless in a few simple words of lost trust sounding something like I Wanna…But. At the end of the day however, if you truly say you love someone let it not be for material gain or based only on feelings, for material wealth is used up and feelings come and go.

Poetry has taught me that love is simply expression.

Be Kind and Share…


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