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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Gwendolyn Brooks's poem To Be In Love

10 Comments

  1. satyajit says:

    really this poem is very good one. before understand this poem we have to love , if we do,then we wil better understand this poem ……….

  2. Rachael says:

    I just read this poem because as we speak I am doing a research paper on it. I can 100% relate to this poem and I have personally felt all of these feelings in the poem. “You cannot look into his eyes Because your pulse what not say What must not be said.” THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. There are no words for this poem. She is explaining that when 2 people are in love they become 1. I coul not help but smile when I read this. WOW.

  3. Rachael says:

    I just read this poem because as we speak I am doing a research paper on it. I can 100% relate to this poem and I have personally felt all of these feelings in the poem. “You cannot look into his eyes Because your pulse what not say What must not be said.” THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. There are no words for this poem. She is explaining that when 2 people are in love they become 1. I coul not help but smile when I read this. WOW.

  4. meagan says:

    thank you, Liz! it helped a lot 🙂

  5. Melissa says:

    This poem is about how being in love is a beautiful thing; you are feeling great and soothed.
    It’s about how deep in love she’s feeling but something is not going to well.
    You see things in his perspective- what you get is what you see and you notice that he notices it too.
    You are apart but still together.

    It is devastating now and you can’t bear to look into his eyes.

    They break up (When he Shuts a door- Is not there) and she can’t take it, she “cannot look into his eyes”

    “And you are free with a ghastly freedom. You are the beautiful half of a golden hurt”
    That makes sure that the reader knows that she just experienced a brutal break up. She feels as if what was once beautiful (love) is now harming her.

    she misses him and she wants to be in denial about it, because “to declare is certain death”
    Must not admit to this pain because it will be the cause of her death (may not be literal – not in my opinion)

    The value of love is lost into “the commonest ash”
    Now it is nothing.

    Beautiful.

  6. Megan says:

    I have to do a project on Gwendolyn Brooks and this poem is BEAUTIFUL! I absolutly love it. To me, this poem means, that to be in love you are a nicer person. That you can see another perspective through his eyes, and you can understand what they are feeling. You change for him without changing your point of views. You know what things look like to you, but you also know what things look like to him. It means that you two do things together and have the same feelings. And when you two do things together, you get excited and you act differently. When he does something, the thing is not there any longer, it is something new. You get nervous and feel differently inside. You feel as though nothing can hold you back. Together, you are one, but apart, you are half of what you should be. You are not whole. You always remember to do something little that makes all the difference to you and him. And when something is new, you think about belonging to each other, dieing. BEAUTIFUL!

  7. marina says:

    I loved this absolutly beautiful poem. I’m only 11 years old and even I can fell a deep connection with it.(and for those wondering, yes I DO understand it)

  8. Sajeh says:

    They are beautiful!!

  9. toni says:

    This poem is great. it expresses some of the fellings that I have felt in love. It really spoke to me.

  10. mindi says:

    i really like this poem but you should put what poetic devices it uses. thank you
    mindi

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