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Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

by Richard Wilbur

Love Theme

If the poem's called "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World," you can bet the bank on the fact that love's gonna show up somewhere. And indeed it does. This poem's all about the soul's acceptance of the flawed human world, and the reason it can accept those things is love. The soul, having just witnessed the perfect beauty of the spirit world, manages to love the human world alongside it.

Questions About Love

  1. We see that the soul comes to accept and even love the human, but why? What's to love? Doesn't it seem like the soul is pretty happy when the human is out of the picture? Why do you think that is?
  2. When do you notice the soul beginning to shift from being bummed to love? Is there a specific point, or is the turn gradual?
  3. For reals: what does the title mean?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The soul loves the human because it has no alternative. If it did, it totally wouldn't love something so messy and impure.

If the title's an allusion to Augustine's Confessions, then love must be a bad thing in this poem, because Augustine was not a fan of the things of this world.

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