This Is Not Love
This is not love: we cannot call it love.
Love would make me aware of infinite things,
Drive me down the spirit’s vast abyss
And through the narrow fastnesses of pain.
This is not love. Yet it holds loveliness
Beyond mere pleasure. Peace and passion both
Grow from the kiss with which I paint drab hours.
It is not love: love is for the gods
And our more godlike moments. Yet when stars
Withhold their splendor, why should we not light
Candles to warm with kindly mortal flames
The all-enfolding, cold, immortal night?
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.