‘Love set you going’.
The opening words of Sylvia Plath’s poem for her newborn daughter are true of each one of us. Love is fundamental to our being, our growth, our development and our happiness. Love enables us to make meaning of our lives in the world, and it gives us hope for what lies beyond. It is completely humdrum and ordinary – yet mysterious beyond words. Beginning in the body, it points us to eternity.
Life offers, and asks of us, many different kinds of love, and poets have reflected on this truth with insight and acute observation. As Janet Morley explores love ‘up and down the generations’, ‘grown up love’ and love between ‘God and the human heart’, she reveals what our hearts eventually discern – love has its seasons and ambiguities, its certainties and passions. Love is never simple at all.
W. H. Auden * Rupert Brooke * Charles Causley * John Clare * Gillian Clarke * Samuel Taylor Coleridge * Christine De Luca * Imtiaz Dharker * Emily Dickinson * John Donne * Carol Ann Duffy * Ruth Fainlight * U. A. Fanthorpe * Seamus Heaney * George Herbert * Gerard Manley Hopkins * Ted Hughes * John of the Cross * Jane Kenyon * D. H. Lawrence * Edwin Morgan * Sinéad Morrissey * Sylvia Plath * Christina Rossetti * Siegfried Sassoon * E. J. Scovell * William Shakespeare * R. S. Thomas * Rosemary Tonks * Andrew Waterhouse * Charles Wesley * Rowan Williams * Thomas Wyatt