Youth and love

Youth and love

Amy Levy wrote the poem Youth and love. In this poem, she describes that moment when a young person is asked to describe what love is.


Amy Levy’s poem isn’t the longest one there is. Still, it’s more than clear what she talks about. That moment when you ask a child to describe what love is. But is it really? This question can be hard to answer for someone who’s older.

What is love? A question many poets have asked themselves over and over again. There is no conclusive answer. This could be unfortunate or it can be the evidence that love is something magical, something so hard to describe.


Youth and love

Youth and love

What does youth know of love?
Little enough, I trow!
He plucks the myrtle for his brow,
For his forehead the rose.
Nay, but of love
It is not youth who knows.


Amy Levy


Levy wrote about what youth didn’t know about love. There is more to her story. Remember, at the time she lived it wasn’t common for women to start relationships with other women.

At a dinner party


With fruit and flowers the board is deckt,
The wine and laughter flow;|
I’ll not complain–could one expect
So dull a world to know?


You look across the fruit and flowers,
My glance your glances find.–
It is our secret, only ours,
Since all the world is blind.


Amy Levy


Amy Levy
Amy Levy

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In this poem, Levy describes what happens when there is a sparkle between two women who have met during a dinner party. The last sentence is just as hopeful as the sentence of Youth and love:


“It is our secret, only ours,
Since all the world is blind.”

If you read the last sentence again of the poem Youth and love:

“It is not youth who knows.”


People didn’t seem to know or did not want to know about the love that Levy experienced. It even gets sadder when you take into consideration that Levy committed suicide only two months before she turned 28. Her suicide was the result of a depression and her deafness. A part of this depression might have been the missing answers to her sexual orientation. Things a woman or man should not be worried about, no matter the sexual orientation. Unfortunately, in Levy’s time, it was a problem.

Youth and love
Article Name
Youth and love
How to describe love?
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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