Friday, September 2, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Seems to me that the best love poems don't come with a bouquet of flowers or a box of candy.  They come with the tightest knots of reality and are almost stingy.  I sure do wish I'd written this one.

By Rita Dove

It's neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn't melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can't feel

It doesn't have
a tip to spin on,
it isn't even
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
I want, I want
but I can't open it:
there's no key.
I can't wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it's all yours, now—
but you'll have
to take me,

Rita Dove, “Heart to Heart” from American Smooth.

Click on the title to go to's posting of Hear to Heart.  Click on the poet's name to learn more about Rita Dove.


  1. She writes with such strength! Thank you.

  2. Strong and beautiful at the same time. Thanks for sharing. Hi this is Munir over here at Focus.

  3. I really enjoyed this one and its duality. It had a great tint of realism to it. It showed how silly we can make love and the heart be but yet at the same time how much more serious it can be than we would ever make it.

  4. I don't know, it sounds almost gruesome, though I see what she's doing here.

  5. I think Rita Dove's poem accentuates the beauty of poetry. It is the ability to take any subject and look at it in a fresh way. She takes a look at the heart as the muscle it is - so hard to describe, and yet, she does. Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing!


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