Friday, April 20, 2007

"To Be in Love," by Gwendolyn Brooks

To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.

In yourself you stretch, you are well.

You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.

His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.

You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.

When he
Shuts a door--
Is not there--
Your arms are water.

And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.

You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.

You remember and covet his mouth
To touch, to whisper on.

Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!

Oh when to apprize
Is to mesmerize,

To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.


  1. I love that poem. I came upon it a poetry book one of my high school teachers was going to getting rid of so I took it home. Just makes me smile to read it.

  2. "You are the beautiful half
    Of a golden hurt."

    Ah, new love.

  3. lizzy- of all of the lines of the poem, that one grabbed me the most. it was like looking in the mirror.

    but not for my "new love," but for the way that after 11 years, i still ache every morning i have to say goodbye to my husband. i wait impatiently for his return, not out of passion, but out of the loneliness of that "ghastly freedom." when our love was new, i didn't know a fraction of what i was missing...

  4. Anon,

    Well, that is even better. :)