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Africa, Poetry and Love Love and Christianity love poems Poetry

Poets Corner: What is Love?

Love

As a growing Sunday School kid I learned a lot about love. Love can be defined when we explore it’s qualities or characteristics. Yet love is complex in every angle you chose to view it from. It is a mix of emotions, behaviours, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.

My dictionary offered some definitions about it:

  1. An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person.
  2. (uncountable) A deep or abiding liking for something.
  3. (uncountable) A profound and caring attraction towards someone.
  4. (countable) The object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart.

What is love from a Poet’s view?

Poets have different opinions on love. Let’s hear what some has to say.

Lucky Johnson puts it beautifully thus: “Love is loving those that hate, visiting the lonely, catching those that fall, being selfless to the selfish, forgiving the unforgivable, helping the helpless, and travelling long for a short visit to someone in need of a hug.” Elseta Campbell says that love is selflessness. The courage to show care unconditionally. The ability to see the person first before seeing their faults. Love is maturity. Love is forgiveness and freedom from bitterness. Love encompasses the physical and tops in on the spiritual. Love is purity of heart. This is insightful. Kiid Kgothi has this to say, “Love is hurt and disappointments that always break your heart. Love is a dangerous thing that has the power to build a relationship and a lifetime of happiness together or it can make someone give up their life because their hearts never stopped bleeding”. For Sara Elizabeth, “love is a term used to describe the deep underlying affection that is always there regardless of how you feel on the surface. To be in love is to be in thrall with one another in a psychologically and yes sexually satisfying way. To fall in love over and over means that you mean so much to each other that you always come back around to that place where you are in thrall and experiencing the release of oxytocin that draws you into that person. To love is to nurture, grow and find contentment within the lives you share. Being in love is a cycle of thrall that diminishes and swells on the hormonic wave of nature and passion”. Maybe you will agree that Sara is being too scientific with her definition of love. Tebogo Mogashoa said that love is a mystery unsolved. For Saul Mendo, love is connection. Everyone is an individual but we need to come together, out of love. Tina Layne said “the indescribable and unfathomable dance of the spirit.”

Marachimso Ajuolachi Chimenka said that love is a feeling that occurs unnoticed. Eduardo Ibacache Rodriguez opined that love is the reason poetry exists at all. Siti Atie Atka says that love is a noun and verb. Masiye Theledi supports Siti in this view. For Ntombi Vutomi Monareng, love is putting someone’s needs before yours. Love is a doing word not a naming word, you can’t always say “I love you” without action. Lulama Mbonambi puts it thus: it is starting to feel like nothing than an idea which materializes into whatever I imagine it to be. Pity most of my imagination is influenced, but the beauty in it is the infinite possibility. Like everything else in life. Joe Hall has this to say about love: “If you can confine it accurately, it’s not love. If it can be manipulated, to conform to desires it’s not love. We’ve box love; categorized, villianized, sexualized, therorecallized, all purposes of love until the purest form of love is invisible humbly before us in innocence and humanity. Steve Rawlingson says, love is as real in a poet as it is in any other person, only the poet may describe it out a little better. For Chris Hiatt, love is just a word. It’s the feelings of those people close to you that the word invokes which defines our karma. Nikki Jauron says love is learning to turn your failures into flecks of gold. Michael Munroe shared his thought: I believe that for anyone, love is when you put something or someone else above yourself. Tamar Millernas said it depends on which poet. There are as many different kinds as there are poets. As for Hudson Roper, love is ambiguous, there are many different types of love e.g. The 4 or 5 Greek words for love.

Latoya Chinnery offered that love is something you can’t explain, because words are unable to define love. No words can give love enough justice that it requires. “Love stands firm in the face of adversity… It’s not something that revels and shine during the sunshine and hide during the rainfall.” For Santa Flaviapa, love is a feeling that is usually over-imagined and over-stressed. It contains so many elements of feelings and emotions that its most important ones are often overlooked, such as commitment, perseverance, caring and caring for, union of spirit and soul, longing and needing each other. Things like joy and happiness and desire may be present or not, but are not love. Honestly I loved this particular definition. The Dreamy Idealist said that, for poets, love is accessible to all form, all perspectives side by side, love is deep emotions, feelings, for someone. Poets imagine their love in a way that no one could ever see. Unity of soul and body do not describe love in its completeness, but probably love is that part which forgets everything in the world except the soul mate. Poets imagined their love and live their own way.

Featured Poetry

Josh Gold, (untitled)

Love is not that great
Love can love to hate
Love can hurt and cause tears
Love is an alcoholic and their beers
(With all fairness there are lots of good things about love, but I think people miss the fact that it’s more like desire than universal principal of goodness)

What is love to you?

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

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