What is love?

People have been asking this question for ages: what is love? What defines love and what’s the impact on your life? Many poets have written pages and pages about love and so did the English poet Ernest Dowson.


In this poem, Dowson combines questions with answers. Every question leads to another one. It all begins with the question if this is just madness (folly). Is it? Once you are in love, you might see the world in a different way. Things can’t be explained and there is this strange feeling in your stomach. If you’ve ‘got it bad’, there is a chance you are not able to function normally. In a way, Dowson is right. This is both sadness and gladness.

It’s all a matter of how to capture this moment and hold on to this moment. There is a chance that it might slip away. Therefore, Dowson’s advice is to cherish this feeling as it was a day in Spring.

What is love?

What is love?


What is Love?
Is it a folly,
Is it mirth, or melancholy?
Joys above,
Are there many, or not any?
What is Love?

If you please,
A most sweet folly!
Full of mirth and melancholy:
Both of these!
In its sadness worth all gladness,
If you please!

Prithee where,
Goes Love a-hiding?
Is he long in his abiding
Can you bind him when you find him;
Prithee, where?

With spring days
Love comes and dallies:
Upon the mountains, through the valleys
Lie Love’s ways.
Then he leaves you and deceives you
In spring days.


Ernest Dowson


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What is love?
Article Name
What is love?
What is love, what defines love?
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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