What is Love?

I was asked this question eighteen months ago, but didn’t have an answer. Since then, on and off – and in truth far more off than on – I’ve been trying to write a poem that defines Love for me.

The dictionary says a strong positive emotion of regard and affection, which is about as dry an explanation as one could expect from such a tome. And of course academia doesn’t put the word into context… a task left instead to poets, artists, musicians and others who’ve tried over centuries to capture this trickiest of social constructs and define it in a way that resonates. 

But we’re all different, and Love is not a single tangible entity, and it’d be quite possible to write the largest blog post in the history of blogging, quoting all the opinions and general musings ever written, yet still fail to produce anything definitive. It’s a beast with many faces, too lithe and slippery to catch and contain. And so I shall just leave you with two small offerings: a delightful ditty from Dorothy Parker and my own sorry work-in-progress.

Feel free to share your thoughts and favourites…


Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

~ Dorothy Parker

It is…

It is naked, alone in the canyon’s early sun
The brief suspense between ground and flight
An unexpected recall of memories forgotten
It is Ice
It is Fire
It is Pitch
It is Light

It is darkness, its shadows, an unknown sound
Hot spices infusing the half-starved mind
First breath inhaled, last drawn slowly out
It is Still
It is Deaf
It is Mute
It is Blind

~ Sandie Zand


5 Replies to “What is Love?”

  1. THIS took 18 months? In that case, isn't it supremely qualified for the Sandie Procrastinates blog?I write/wrote poetry. Like you. Unlike you, I don't (daren't) reveal it for public scrutiny. You're a brave woman, Ms Zand, and a very talented one. I like the poem, like this even more, 'It's a beast with many faces, too lithe and slippery to catch and contain.' Superb.

  2. yes.it reads rather fiery for an early morning, has a touch of the nordic-saxon riddle type thing, know what i mean? i love those riddles. anyway, it is moody stuff. and marie of romania was quite the scribbler herself, her idea of love entirely fitting to her flitting soul.

  3. "A moth ate words. I thought thatwas a marvelous fate,that the worm, a thief in the dark, should eat a man's words – a brilliant statementand its foundation is strong. Not a whit the wiser was he for having fattened himself on those words."Yes. In my old shed I had a night-time slug which ate large portions of my notes… also presumably none the wiser for having done so. Though I guess it could be said those notes provided more sustenance as slug-snack than they ever would as human brain-fodder.But what can we know about the Soul of a slug..??

  4. Thanks, Brian. Am still not sure about it myself. I like it when I read it aloud, slowly, but don't like the aesthetics of it typed. Played around with all different layouts but nothing seemed right.

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