Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Against Love" by Katherine Philips

Today my students and I had a great discussion on this poem. Many of them felt that it was very age appropriate for them, which is true, but I argued it's appropriate for anyone old enough to have been hurt by love. 

The last 7 lines provide an interesting shift in the poem but it's the last two things that are the most telling for me. It feels like the subtext may be hinting that maybe we should be open to love, even though it hurts--or maybe that's my wishful thinking. At any rate, I like this poem's thoughts on love and I definitely think I've read some novels where this would be very apropos. 

"Against Love" 
by Katherine Philips

Hence Cupid! with your cheating toys, 
Your real griefs, and painted joys, 
Your pleasure which itself destroys. 
Lovers like men in fevers burn and rave, 
And only what will injure them do crave. 
Men's weakness makes love so severe, 
They give him power by their fear, 
And make the shackles which they wear. 
Who to another does his heart submit, 
Makes his own idol, and then worships it. 
Him whose heart is all his own, 
Peace and liberty does crown, 
He apprehends no killing frown. 
He feels no raptures which are joys diseased, 
And is not much transported, but still pleased. 

You can find this and other poems here


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