Table of Contents
Love refers to a variety of mental and emotional states characterized by strong and positive experiences that range from simple pleasures to deep interpersonal affections. The love of a father, for example, differs from the love of a spouse, and the love of food yet all are expressions of love. Love thus entails personal attachments and strong attractions. In other cases, love manifests itself as a virtue that represents acts of kindness, affections, and compassion by people. Despite the numerous definitions of love, they all concur that love as a force. Love is a strong force that always results in either constructive or destructive tendency in people.
First, love is a force of strong attraction. Romantic love arises from attractions based on beauty. Two people who find each other beautiful fall in love owing to the mutual attraction that exists between them. The two embody immense interpersonal affection as they adore each other’s company and can always ignore anything else just to spend time with each other. Romantic love presents love as a force and commitment to each other. The commitment enables one to overlook the shortcomings in their spouses and make strategic sacrifices that include ignoring even the wrongs of their spouses. Galaxy love by Gerald Stern provides a perfect representation of romantic love as a force. The two lovers in the poem forego and ignore everything taking place in their surrounding as they observe other members of the society while enjoying the company of each other. The poem also shows the persona in the poem encouraging his spouse to ignore some of his wrongs, “while I turn the light off with the right hand and gather you in close with the wrong” (Stern, lines 11 and 12).
Love makes people strong and powerful beyond their perceived strength. The force of love propels people into different directions in their quest to defend and protect those they love. The power and strength of love also manifest itself in the quest for people to show their love. McFee refers to the heart of love as “a plump helium heart.” Such a heart is light but strong. It demonstrates its strength as it rises above the atmosphere and shows its beauty to everyone. The metaphor and imagery laden poem show the power of love. The poet equates the power of love to lightning. Lightning embodies the power of nature. It has the power to obliterate anything in its path. However, a loving heart may not ever hurt anyone, “that will never strike anything” (Mcfee, line 8). Despite harboring the power of lighting, genuine love can never hurt others. The poet points to the love that exists between a child and his parent or a man and his spouse. Such kind of love results in constructive tendencies as people care for each other and will not harm them.
Another constructive tendency of love is selflessness. People in love should always understand and even cover up the shortcomings of their spouses. Everyone has a weakness that often hampers productivity. When two people fall in love, they begin to understand the uniqueness of each other including their strengths and weaknesses. True love encourages lovers to complement the strengths demonstrated by their spouses while working together to overcome the weaknesses especially when they hinder productivity. In For you by Maureen McLane, the persona has a lover that sleeps until late in the morning. He describes that she has picked up the habit of waking up late every day. The persona wakes up way before she does and must put up with the habit despite his concern. The person talks about taking up some of the basic chores in the homes because his lover sleeps in until late. He plans to embrace the culture of preparing breakfast for his lover. Eventually, he accepts the habit by encouraging his lover to continue sleeping, “Go back to sleep my love for you are only dreaming I am up before you” (Mc lane, lines 23 and 24).
Finally, true love develops out of selflessness and personal sacrifice, which are desirable tendencies of love. Romantic love thrives on the sacrifice of the lovers. Life presents numerous challenges that may make it difficult for lovers to see each other and do the little things that lovers do to nourish their love. As such, love requires immense personal sacrifices punctuated by the determination to be with each other. Love at the beginning by Andres Montoya outlines some of the critical sacrifices that a lover makes for his spouse. The persona in the poem promises to take serious risks just to see his lover. He promises to shake off the dirt he endured during the day and brave lightings and hurdling rivers just to see his lover. The force arises from intrinsic motivation owing to the commitment the man has to his lover. He explains that he will endure the mayhem in the society just to provide his lover with a peaceful night.
Despite the numerous constructive tendencies of love, love is an equally destructive force that has caused numerous people immense pain and suffering. Love can always present itself as a dangerous and destructive force that can claim the lives and destroy wealth. The poet in Love observes that love grows cold with time thus exposing once loving couple to nights of loneliness and isolation. Love is a breach, which exposes one to myriad vulnerabilities. In this context, love becomes an uncontrolled threat that may present dangers and other destructive forces especially when the love begins to die down. When love ends, couples turn into strangers, “Grows false and dull, that was sweet lies at most” (Brooke, line 12). As love turns to hate it reveals the negative aspects of people who begin lying to each other thereby harming their spouses in different ways.
In retrospect, love is a critical emotion in the world. Love is the social fabric that holds the society together. Love has numerous desirable tendencies including sacrifice, selflessness, and understanding among others. Such tendencies draw people together thereby enabling people to endure sufferings as they grow in love. Such actions of selflessness demonstrate the strength of love and its ability to motivate the acts of selflessness. However, the same force and strength can manifest in adverse ways especially when love dies out. Love presents itself as a double-edged sword. While it promises immense happiness and contentment, it also exposes one to various serious vulnerabilities that later magnify the destructive tendencies of love. As love trickles out, lovers become liars, and some begin harboring suicidal and even murderous thoughts.
- Brooke, Rupert. Love. Poets.org, 1912. Online resource. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/love-6
- McFee, Michael. Valentine’s afternoon. Poetry foundation, 1931. Internet resources. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/41398/valentines-afternoon
- McLane, Maureen. For you. Poets.org, 2015. Internet resource. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/you-0
- Montoya, Andres. Love at the beginning. Poets.org, 1997. Internet resource. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/love-beginning
- Stern, Gerald. Galaxy love. Poets.org, 1925. Internet resource. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/galaxy-love