Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

What Is This Thing Called Love?

by Norma Allan

You know when you love and when you are loved,
But how do you know and how does it show?
Is it perfection or beauty or brains?
High moral character? No, none of these things.

No formula here, just something that happens,
A mind of its own, there is no pattern.
It's not a decision nor is it a choice,
An invisible pulse that speaks its own voice.

Unspoken but sure, it's just there within,
No treatment, no cure, it creeps in unseen.
Is it happiness then? Once in a while,
Pain? Oh yes, plenty - and tears by the mile.

A smile, a sigh, a look, a touch,
A gesture, a movement that says so much.
This thing called love has so many guises,
Not always friendly and full of surprises.

Cruel and jealous, possessive and mean,
Sweet and tender or passion and spleen.
Sounds like a virus you cannot discard,
No bed of roses, it's painful and hard.

So why do we seek it when it's not so much fun?
Better to spurn, cut our losses and run.
But it's already too late, for the die is cast,
The hand of fate has decreed love's path.

It's all about caring and feeling at one,
A need deep within you, when all's said and done,
Oh love, love, love makes the world go round,
The essence of man, his glory, his crown!

Added: 17.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


One of the few poems I read that had no silly errors in it. Good metre and punctuation - and it made sense!