“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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Launching a Serious Run at Apple and Samsung

Television

Slim Pickings at the Network TV Bazaar

Three talented actresses in three terrible shows.

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Jurisprudence
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?