I Love You
I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
And red with a wild desire;
I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
Lit with a passionate fire.
I love your arms when the warm white flesh
Touches mine in a fond embrace;
I love your hair when the strands enmesh
Your kisses against my face.
Not for me the cold, calm kiss
Of a virgin’s bloodless love;
Not for me the saint’s white bliss,
Nor the heart of a spotless dove.
But give me the love that so freely gives
And laughs at the whole world’s blame,
With your body so young and warm in my arms,
It sets my poor heart aflame.
So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth,
Still fragrant with ruby wine,
And say with a fervor born of the South
That your body and soul are mine.
Clasp me close in your warm young arms,
While the pale stars shine above,
And we’ll live our whole young lives away
In the joys of a living love.
Summary of I Love You
- Popularity of “I Love You”: Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a famous American author, and poet wrote ‘I Love You’. It was first published in the 19th century. The poem explores the phenomenon of sensual love and comprises the speaker’s attempt to express the depth of her profound love. Since its publication, it has won widespread popularity on account of its everlasting description of love.
- “I Love You”, As a Representative of Love: The poet articulates her feelings of blissfulness of her sensual love. The poet, very artistically, draws a picture of her overwhelming love and paints it with her intense emotions. She desires for love that satisfies and excites, and not the one that is dull and passive. She provides a vivid description of love she longs for and wants the same response from her lover. Also, she talks about physical intimacy and expressing pure, appealing, compelling and transcendent nature of love.
- Major Themes in “I Love You”: Love, happiness, and fulfillment of sensual desires are the major themes of this poem. The poet expresses her true love for her significant other which she describes, brings joys and excitement. Also, it gives feelings of fulfillment and satiation. Therefore, she reinforces these themes by expressing her innermost desires that show possessiveness for her love. The choice of words suggests that she desires that his innocent and pure love should last forever.
Analysis of Literary Devices in “I Love You”
Literary devices are tools the writers use to create meanings in their texts to enhance the poems or stories and connect the readers with the real message of the text. Ella Wheeler Wilcox has also used some literary devices in this poem to project her ideas about love. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been given below.
- Enjambment: Enjambment refers to the continuation of a sentence without the pause beyond the end of a line, couplet or stanza such as;
“And say with a fervor born of the South
That your body and soul are mine.”
- Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /l/ in “And we’ll live our whole young lives away”.
- Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /uh/ in “Of a virgin’s bloodless love.”
- Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some verses. For example, usage of “love your” in the opening lines to show her intense love.
“I love your eyes when the love light lies
I love your eyes when the love light lies.”
- Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /w/ in “So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth”.
- Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings different from literal meanings. The word “white” symbolizes purity, innocence, and chastity, while the word “dove” is the symbol of freedom and clarity.
- Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to non-human things. For examples, lips are personified in the first line, “I love your lips when they’re wet with wine, And red with a wild desire.” Here the lips appear like humans with desire.
- Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things with their five senses. For example the sense of sight and touch, “I love your lips when they’re wet with wine”, “So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth” and “I love your arms when the warm white flesh, Touches mine in a fond embrace.”
This brief literary analysis shows that Ella Wheeler Wilcox has exercised her expertise to present passionate love.
Analysis of Poetic Devices in “I Love You”
Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.
- Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are three stanzas in this poem.
- Octave: An octave is a verse form which consists of eight lines in iambic pentameter. There are three octaves in this poem.
- Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme scheme is ABCBDEFE for each octave.
- Iambic Pentameter: It is a type of meter having five iambs per line. The poem follows iambic pentameter such as, “I love your lips when they’re wet with wine.”
Quotes to be Used
The lines stated below can be used when expressing true love for the mistress. The words such as, “wild desire” and “passionate fire” show the intensity of one’s love.
“I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
And red with a wild desire;
I love your eyes when the love light lies
Lit with a passionate fire.”