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.
Short Poem Analysis
"I Love You" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox is a straightforward and sentimental poem that explores the universal theme of love's power to uplift and transform. The poem is characterized by its simple language and direct expression of emotion, making it easily accessible and relatable to a wide audience.
The poem's title and opening lines immediately establish the theme of love. The speaker declares, "I love you," in a clear and unequivocal manner. This directness sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which consists of short, declarative sentences that emphasize the speaker's emotional sincerity.
Throughout the poem, the speaker uses vivid imagery to illustrate the transformative effects of love. The idea that love can turn "the winter into May" suggests that love has the power to bring warmth and renewal to even the coldest and bleakest of times. This imagery of seasonal change evokes a sense of optimism and hope.
The poem's repetitive structure, with each stanza beginning with "I love you," underscores the poem's central theme and reinforces the depth of the speaker's emotions. The repetition creates a rhythmic and almost hypnotic quality, enhancing the poem's emotional impact.
"I Love You" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox is a celebration of love's ability to bring joy, happiness, and renewal to one's life. Through its simple yet poignant language, the poem conveys the universal and timeless nature of love's transformative power. It serves as a reminder of the profound impact that love can have on individuals and the world around them.