Love's Philosophy

"Love's Philosophy" is a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley published in 1819.

"Love's Philosophy" appeared in the 1824 collection Posthumous Poems, John and Henry L. Hunt, London.

BackgroundEdit

The poem was published by Leigh Hunt in the December 22, 1819 issue of The Indicator and reprinted in Posthumous Poems in 1824 edited by Mary Shelley.[1] It was included in the Harvard manuscript book where it is headed "An Anacreontic", dated "January, 1820". Anacreontics are poems written in the style of the ancient Greek poet Anacreon, known for his celebrations of love. Shelley wrote it in a copy of Leigh Hunt's Literary Pocket-Book, 1819, which was presented to Sophia Stacey, December 29, 1820.

The poem is divided in two 8-line stanzas with an ABABCDCD rhyme scheme.[2]

The main theme is the relationship between the "connection" that exists for things in the natural world and the poet's desire to be connected to his object of affection. Shelley asks how there can be unity in nature but a lack of union in human relationships.

The poetic devices Shelley uses in the poem include Personification (Fountains mingle with the river; Winds of heaven mix forever with a sweet emotion; The mountains kiss high heaven; The waves clasp one another; Moonbeams kiss the sea), Metaphor (No sister flower could be forgiven if it disdained its brother), and the Rhetorical question (If thou kiss not me?).

In popular cultureEdit

British composer Roger Quilter set the poem to music in 1905 in the composition Love's Philosophy, Op. 3, No 1.

In 2003, David Gompper set the poem to music in a score for baritone and piano.[3]

Choral composer David N. Childs set the poem to music scored for a four-part women's choir and piano.<ref>[1]<ref>

The second stanza of the poem appears in the second season of Twin Peaks.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hutchinson, Thomas, ed. The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. London: Oxford University Press, 1909, page 578.
  2. ^ Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Selected Poetry and Prose of Shelley. Ware, Hertfordshire, UK: The Wordsworth Poetry Library, 2002.
  3. ^ Composer David Gompper.

SourcesEdit

  • Bonca, Teddi Chichester. Shelley's Mirrors of Love: Narcissism, Sacrifice, and Sorority. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999.
  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Selected Poetry and Prose of Shelley. Ware, Hertfordshire, UK: The Wordsworth Poetry Library, 2002.
  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Complete Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley. New York: The Modern Library, 1994.

External linksEdit