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What is True Love?

This essay is about a prominent poem “True Love” by a well-known Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. This poem shows us that every person has his or her own definition of this feeling and the main aim of this essay is to understand what the author is trying to express and what the meaning of the poem is about. It is obvious that millions of poems are written about love, and millions of films are made about it, too. Love is the only thing in this world that makes it better. Thus, we are going to discuss what true love is by Wislawa Szymborska.

First of all it is necessary to mention that a concept of true love has a big variety of definitions. According to dictionary’s definition, true love is a kind of feeling that represents itself as mutual devotion between two different people who show not only unselfish concern for the good of another, but also it includes patience, forgiveness and mutual respect. Thus, it becomes understandable that the concept of true love is very complex in its nature because it consists of various feelings. It seems that we all instinctively know what love means, as in the case when people love us, and when we love ourselves. Nevertheless, it is necessary to talk about the very essence of love in more detail.

Szymborska begins her poem “True Love” by asking different questions about this feeling; and attentive reader can understand that the author is actually asking not about the very essence of true love but about its specific place and even its meaning in our society where practicalness has replaced natural human feelings. For the acknowledgment of this fact we can use the first stanza of the poem, which consists of four line and where the first questions are asked by an example:

“True love. Is it normal,
is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two people
Who exist is a world of their own?” (lines 1-4).

The poem has in its essence negative attitude to love and, for the first glance, it seems that the author expresses a negative opinion toward a great feeling such as true love is; but taking into account the time when the poem was written we can understand that Wislawa Szymborska is not denying the great feeling, but only reflects existed situation. In the historical context the poem we see that “True Love” was written at a time when Soviet Union was trying to control its territory and Poland was oppressed by Soviet Union’s aspiration to create a new powerful country, where its citizens were expected to devote their time, forces, hearts and lives to the needs of the State; thus, all other feelings and personal needs, except thoughts about the future State’s advancement, were secondary. Basing on the information presented above we can suppose that Szymborska forces her readers to revalue existed situation and examine her poem “True Love” on a number of new levels, paying attention on the socio/political level, and not forgetting about the base level that brought two people to find each other and be together as one organism.

Thus, taking everything into consideration it is possible to conclude that the poem “True Love” has very deep sense, because the author is not denying this great feeling, but she is explaining what this feeling is like for those people who have not experienced true love, and how practical and serious world is trying to put its governance over the highest feeling that really inspires people on different heroic deeds and makes our world better.

Work cited:

Szymborska, Wislawa. True Love. Available at http://judithpordon.tripod.com/poetry/wislawa_szymborska_true_love.html