Love Poem by John Frederick Nims

Critical Analytical Essay on Poetry – “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims The differences between two people can make for an everlasting love because opposites can, and do, attract. In, “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims, the poet describes this love. From her clumsiness to her calming influence, is a perfect description of his love for her strengths and weaknesses. This poem can make the reader believe that love can happen for anyone. It shouldn’t matter if a person is not a good driver, for example, “Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers’ terror, Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime Yet leaping before red apoplectic streetcars – Misfit in any space. And never on time. ” is an example of her poor driving skills. Their happiness is what matters, for instance, “Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel, Your lipstick grinning on our coat, So gaily in love’s unbreakable heaven Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.” This shows that her happiness is important. In using these two stanzas (3 & 5) readers can imagine the kind of love they share and want that for themselves. Readers of this poem would believe that the poet, John Frederick Nims, is truly a romantic at heart. For example, in the last stanza (6), he wrote, “Be with me, darling, early and late. Smash glasses – I will study wry music for your sake. For should your hands drop white and empty, All the toys of the world would break.” is written by someone who has experienced heartache. The mood and tone of this poem is light-hearted and romantic. The use of figurative language in poetry can help make a poem have more feeling and bring the readers imagination to life. First, the poet John Frederick Nims, uses hyperbole, in the first stanza (1), to emphasis the exaggeration. For example, “My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases, At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring, Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen, And have no cunning with any soft thing.” This is a description of her clumsiness, not of her having big hands.

Second, Nims also used personification in stanza 5, for instance, “Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel, Your lipstick grinning on our coat,…” meaning that her lipstick smudged, it is not actually grinning. Lastly, Nims’ use of metaphor in stanza 4, for example, “In traffic of wit expertly manoeuvre And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.” describes her ability to captivate people around her. The figurative language used in each stanza enhanced the love the reader feels. The theme of the poem is, loving someone regardless of their imperfections. In, “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims, gives the reader the feeling of truly loving. For all their strengths, weaknesses, and the happiness one person can give another. For instance, the strength described in the second stanza and her weakness in the third stanza, is a description of how deeply love can be. Also, the happiness can be felt by both parties in the fifth stanza. The reader would characterize, “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims, as true essence of love. In conclusion, readers would be in agreement that, “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims, is a perfect parody of opposites attracting. The mood and tone adds to the reading of poetry, as well as figurative language and theme. After all, love is a many splendid thing!

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Oster, Iveson, and McClay. Literary Experiences Volume 1 Stories Poems Essays Plays Prentice Hall 1989 P. 310

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