“The Five Facets of Love”

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Feb. 28 2012 6:30 AM

“The Five Facets of Love”

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear J. Allyn Rosser read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

A mountain won’t grow dizzy
if it doesn’t look down.
The sun is stone blind;
the Hudson won’t drown.
This book cannot read
and the stars can’t steer.
My love is a hope
that my love will appear.

The sea can’t contain itself,
and sloshes on the shore.
The void cannot be purged.
The most can’t get more.
Our law has no conscience;
that ball cannot throw.
Oh how much I love him
my love must not know.

Questions never wonder,
and danger has no fear.
The bullet feels nothing;
thunder can’t hear.
The rain can’t rise up
and the sky won’t lie down.
I cannot love this one
when that one’s around.

Grief knows no sadness;
knowledge can’t learn.
The breaths you’ve been taking
will not be returned.
Your absence won’t leave me,
your presence won’t stay.
My love may have faith,
but it won’t bow to pray.

Some pasts have no future,
the present has no door.
New love looks uncannily
like one that came before.
The dirt you dig up
will remember the hole.
Oh if my love’s the felon,
there will be no parole.

For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click here. Click here to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site. Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.

J. Allyn Rosser teaches at Ohio University and is the author of Foiled Again. She teaches at Ohio University, where she edits New Ohio Review.



The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer


Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.


Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.