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What Is Love?

by Pencil2paper

Love is like a rose, some say.
But love is not like a rose,
At least not on a winter's day.
Roses shrivel and repose,
But true love always lives and thrives.
In cold winters of the heart and summer's heat and passion,
Love always keeps alive.

Some say love is like the sun,
But it is not like the sun, not forever.
Because out the sun will eventually run,
But two true lovers will always stay together,
Spending the years blissfully.
Through toils and trials and tribulations,
Love lasts into infinity.

But love is like the universe,
Infinite and wonderful.
For true love lasts even beyond the hearse,
Starting when we are young and bashful.
And although we try to figure out this mysterious love,
True love cannot be known fully, not even by wise men and sages.

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814 Reviews

Points: 28551
Reviews: 814

Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:21 am
Morrigan wrote a review...

Hi there.

I strongly suggest changing the title of the poem. No matter what, when I hear (and when many others hear) "What Is Love?" They immediately think of the next line in the song by Haddaway (Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more). And this is not Eurodance.

I like the way you've put this on paper (or screen). I like how you overturn common symbols of love, and then compare it to something bigger. Also, I appreciate the rhyme scheme you've got going, and the alliteration in the line

Through toils and trials and tribulations,

That being said, there are a few things I'd like to address.
But love is not like a rose,

Perhaps omit the like. It would still work as a metaphor, and it would scan better.

Because out the sun will eventually run,

I see what you're doing here. You're trying to not say "but the sun will eventually run out." I appreciate that because if that was what was here, I'd jump on that faster than a puppy on a dropped Dorito. Here, however, it feels clumsy. I would try to reword it in a way that didn't make your tongue trip over the words if you read it aloud.

As a whole, I like your ideas and execution. It's a pretty decent poem. I won't say I agree with all of your ideas, but they are plausible ones.
And I usually hate rhyme scheme, but I like yours. You pulled it off. Nice going.
Happy poeting! I hope this review helped in some way.

Pencil2paper says...

Thanks, Magpie. It helped a lot!

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1235 Reviews

Points: 35282
Reviews: 1235

Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:07 am
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi Pencil2Paper. I'm guessing that upon reading the title, some will think "Baby don't hurt me, don't more". The others will just groan because there are so many love poems out there already. But on to the piece.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first stanza. I think you mean "shrivel in repose" in the fourth line though. I liked this playing with the cliche of the rose and how really, love is better than that. I do think you should split the sixth line after "heart". Reversing summer and winter would probably fit better as well.

For some reason, I wasn't as crazy about the second stanza. I liked "Because out the sun will eventually run", but everything that came after that was pretty boring. I might play around with connecting the "staying together" with the idea of the sun, like "even as the sun burns out, true lovers shine on". Kind of cheesy example but I think you can work with it.

The third stanza surprises me again. I loved the third line. However, I think it's an awkward transition to "young and bashful". I might reverse these two parts "True lovers start out young and bashful/And remain devoted beyond the hearse". Heck, if you do that, I might scrap the last two lines entirely. They've been said before and don't add much to this piece. That said, there might be a better way to say this, like show "wise men" puzzling over love.

Overall, I wasn't expected much from the title, but you know what they say about judging books by their covers. There's some beautiful lines and I like how you play with the cliches. Fix some awkward lines and work on the boring parts and I think this will be great. Keep writing! :)

Pencil2paper says...

Thanks for the advice, Niteowl!

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Points: 490
Reviews: 1

Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 am
stephyethier22 says...

i like the concept. I like the way it starts with a simple rose and expands, and expands, until it reaches infinity, something no man can grasp. Thats true love.

Pencil2paper says...

Thanks, Steph!

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1313 Reviews

Points: 23286
Reviews: 1313

Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 am
Hannah wrote a review...

I like the opening of this poem a lot. "People say this, but oh they are TOTALLY wrong!" haha. And your rhymes in that first stanza are easy and unnoticeable, so that's a job well done.

But it starts to get shaky in the second stanza and never recovers. Here's the first offender:

Because out the sun will eventually run,

It's okay to change the order of sentences, but this was obviously done to unearth the rhyme, and so it is not only awkward, but makes the rhyme sound forced.

Love lasts into infinity.

But love is like the universe,
Infinite and wonderful.

Next, you just said infinity. We already got that point about love, so why would you tell us that again so soon? Also, how not-powerful is the word "wonderful"? What does that even mean. "Oh, this sandwich is wonderful. The weather is wonderful. The universe is wonderful." It doesn't work right.

The rest of that last stanza, too, seems to have just scattered off into all different directions, maybe scared away by the too-obviously-forced rhyme of "hearse". You not only get off the strong attempt at rhyme and order you have, you get off the topic of the poem. This poem is about lasting love, but suddenly you also say "love starts from when we're young" and "it's really mysterious"! I'd prefer you keep to your original intention.

That said, something that this poem could use is imagery. The first stanza is pretty good, if simple. We see the rose, the withering, the thriving in the heat and cold. But the sun is a little more difficult to imagine. Still, there's a simple image there, too: the going-out of the sun. I feel like these images would be made stronger if complemented with related images OR senses of motion, texture, smell, or sound. That would also bring them to be absorbed by the reader in a different way.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions through PM, please.

Keep writing.

Pencil2paper says...

Thanks, Hannah! I certianly will if I need any help.

"People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people."
— V for Vendetta