These Are NOT Love Songs

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"Both poems are 'love songs' (obviously both Donne and Eliot use song in their titles) uttered in the courtly love tradition by personas who view male-female relationships warily" (Blythe and Sweet).

 

I'm sorry, but just because poets use the words "love" or "song" in the title of their poems does not mean that it is a love song. 

Love + Song ≠ Love Song (for those of you who prefer to see things mathematically).

 

It depends on what you think constitutes a love song.  To me, a love song is positive and speaks of the L-word with affection. 

 

Both narrators in John Donne and T.S. Eliot’s poems sound pretty miserable to me.  In Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, the narrator is depressed and wants to sleep all the time:

 

“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown” (Eliot 129-131).

 

Death.  How romantic.

 

The narrator in John Donne’s “Song: Go and catch a falling star” seems to be fed up with women and their unfaithful ways:

 

“And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair” (Donne 16-18).

 

Oh baby.  He really loves women, doesn’t he? 

 

For Blythe and Sweet to call these poems love songs simply based off of their titles is not very convincing.  I want evidence as to why these are considered love songs.  They would be considered misery songs in my book.

 

I'm not going to write you a love song, but I will give you the link back to the course website.

 

5 Comments

Erica Gearhart said:

I wouldn't really consider these as love songs either. I too think of a love song as positive and happy, but perhaps Eliot, Donne, and Blythe and Sweet all think that a love song is a profession of love, not necessarily a discussion of love that is returned. P.S., I love the math illusion!

Greta Carroll said:

Lauren, I completely agree with you. I don’t think they are really love songs either. I think they called them love songs partially just to through the reader off when they realize what views the poems really express. But I like how you said, “Love + Song ≠ Love Song.”

Greta Carroll said:

Lauren, I completely agree with you. I don’t think they are really love songs either. I think they called them love songs partially just to through the reader off when they realize what views the poems really express. But I like how you said, “Love + Song ≠ Love Song.”

Deana Kubat said:

haha i could not agree more. poems are be romantic and songs can be about love, but there doesn't have to ALWAYS be a connection within the two. it makes me laugh as to how some people think about poetry and songs....always about love. GAG! god i hope not!

But love can be so very painful at times! Just ask any emo kid!

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