Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, LOVE SONG, by JOSEPH BRODSKY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

LOVE SONG, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Love Song" is a poem by Joseph Brodsky, a Russian-American poet and essayist, and was first published in 1971. The poem is a sonnet, a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme and meter, and is known for its musicality and lyrical language.


The poem begins with the speaker expressing his love for his beloved, saying that he loves her in both her beauty and her flaws. He compares her to a painting, saying that her beauty is like the "stillness of marble" and that her flaws are like "scratches on stone". The speaker then goes on to describe how his beloved's love has affected him, saying that it has "lifted him from earth" and made him feel as if he is "floating in the air".

In the second half of the poem, the speaker describes the power of his beloved's love, saying that it has the ability to heal his wounds and even bring him back to life. He says that her love is like a "miracle" that has the power to transform him.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: The poem is a sonnet with a rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDCDCD.
  • Metaphor: The speaker uses metaphors throughout the poem to describe his beloved's beauty and the power of her love. For example, he compares her beauty to the "stillness of marble" and her flaws to "scratches on stone".
  • Language: The poem features lyrical language and vivid imagery, creating a musical and romantic tone.
  • Theme: The central theme of the poem is love and the power it has to transform and heal.


"Love Song" by Joseph Brodsky is a powerful and moving poem that celebrates the transformative power of love. The poem's use of vivid imagery and lyrical language creates a musical and romantic tone, capturing the essence of the speaker's love for his beloved. The poem's central message, that love has the power to heal and transform, is one that resonates with readers and has helped make it a beloved and widely anthologized work of poetry.


"I love you not only for what you are,

but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,

but for what you are making of me."

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