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Love (3)

by Zettel 

Posted: 17 March 2007
Word Count: 50
Summary: Continuing a theme. This one's very slight

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Love (3)

if we fill

the space of love

with the noise

of demand

then we deny


the silent joy

of giving

from love

demand sees only

the joyless face

of duty

would anyone who has

ever truly loved

exchange the necessity

of duty

for the gift

of love

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Comments by other Members

Jordan789 at 04:47 on 19 March 2007  Report this post
Hey Zettle,

I like how this poem speaks of Love and duty and demand, trully intertwined relations which I would really be curious to know a hell of a lot more about, and I like how the poem proposes to understand them, with an if/then clause. In comparision, something Shakespearian comes to mind, but that might be in relation to the topics.

I would really like to know more about the poet's stance on the relation here, but the meaning is somewhat fuzzy to me.

"if we fill the space of love with the noise of demand then we deny another the silent joy of giving from love."

I copied it into one line to make reading it a little easier.

I think I like this idea a lot. It took me a while, and numerous rereadings before I began to grasp the meaning. For me, this is saying: "stop asking me to make you dinner, stop asking me to rub your back, stop asking me for these things." Because if I "give from love" you will receive things as I can give them, not as you want them, which pleases me, the giver, more. I dont know what context others will place these words on, but that's where they are at for me: that there is a joy in giving to my lover when I choose to give, as my love dictates I can and should give.

"demand sees only the joyless face of duty. Would anyone who has ever truly loved exchange the necessity of duty for the gift of love?"

I added punctuation as I saw fit, rightfully or wrongfully so.

In this second half, I am uncertain about the meaning. Here, I am unsure at how the speaker sees love vs. duty, and whether they are one in the same, or how exactly they relate. What I gather, after numerous rereadings, is that "demand" from one party, in the dual relationship, brings on "the joyless face of duty." That is the easy party to understand. The next sentence, as I broke them up, is more difficult. However, I think, the question asks whether a person would want a slave or a lover, and the answer is quite obvious. BOTH, damn it, I want both! But a lover, for reasons given in the first part.

Whew, sorry for that lengthy division, but I think I needed it to rightfully make any suggestions or comments. I think, firstly, as you saw from my above reasoning and tinkering, that the poem is very difficult, mostly due to some poor wording.

I think the poem would be made easier, and more relatable, if it is expanded upon and opened up. I'd like to see the above ideas as the two concluding lines to a sonnet, where certain events are made clear and brought to detail before the conclusion. I say sonnet, only because the last two lines almost always act as a summation of the poem's topic. By themselves, these lines seem somewhat wordy and severely open for the reader's own translation.

Anyhow, I really like the ideas and the conflicts at hand. They are pressing and very real to anyone who has been in a relationship. It might be enough so to stand on its own. Though difficult, it can be worked through. I am interested to see what others think.

Thanks for the read,


PS sorry for the winded response, as I already said, for me, it took a while to work through things.

Zettel at 00:52 on 22 March 2007  Report this post

Thanks for a thuoghtful response. The poem is meant to capture a very simple single idea about love. That is why I would not want to expand it. The second stanza as you pick up, is meant to counterpoint the first. For me, if in love you dont trust the lover to give freely whatever it is you want from them, and try to take the intitative in getting it, by demand, moral blackmail (very common), tears, complaint etc etc, then you end up getting something different and less satisfying than what you desired in the first place. It is characteristic of failing relationships that this kind of substitution begins to take place. I think this is pretty much at the heart of the old idea that realtionships need to be worked at to keep them vital, satisfying and alive. But I guess we've all been in that sad situation where the essential feeling that created the relationship has waned or died. One can see long term relationships where sadly demand and recrimination has been substituted for the love that was there before. Go round any supermarket and just listen. And the final sadness is when two people who once loved one another, who precisely because they once did, know exactly how to hurt the other most and the relationship has decayed into a highly refined form of precisely targetted bickering.

As for your slave and lover thought. I know some people feel this way. Personally I don't ever want a lover who is my slave for it would rob her of the very independence and personality that made me love her in the first place. Although of course there are famously important contexts where willing submission is a delicious part of the relationship. But a slave is not willingly submissive.

Thanks again for the comment.



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