Knowing Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

A 19-year-old boy who I met as one of my case studies in our Guidance and Counseling subject came to me one afternoon and wanted to talk to me regarding his feelings after just recently breaking off his relationship with his boyfriend of over one-and-a-half years. This poem is based on what he shared with me during that session.


What is this love? This romance

Of which you speak? I know not

Of its joys or marvels

I know nothing of its tenderness

Or the warmth of its embrace.

I know not its colors or its passions

Nor of its fire, so strange and far away.

I am blind to its light,

Deaf to its music,

Numb to its delight.


So how then, you may wonder,

Do I know of such things?

Again, I answer, I know nothing of it

—At least, not anymore

I think I once knew, but memories are fragile

And nostalgia is a fleeting and doubtful spirit

I sometimes remember, but they are all too vague

For too much has been lost, too little has been preserved

And often I wonder: do my recollections ring true,

Or are they but ruses of a bitter heart

Longing for what it never had?


To this I cannot assuredly say,

My only certainty is that I do not have it

And without it I know only grief

Empty joys, empty marvels, empty wonders

Ruthless hunger and cruel thirst

Cold anguish and the biting chill of nothing

Colors, all dull; passions, all barren

And the desperate sputter of forgotten embers.

I know not what love is, only that without it,

There is no light, no music, no delight.

Submitted: April 26, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Jan Gabriel. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Oh wow! This is so beautiful. Eloquent yet simple. Your words painted the picture clearly and with such emotion. Fantastic. :) Sherry

Thu, April 26th, 2012 11:48am


Thank you so much for your kind words, Ms. Sherry. They are truly appreciated, especially for an aspiring writer like myself. :D

Thu, April 26th, 2012 4:51am


Nakakainis. xD It's annoying how you always manage to write something so simply, yet so beautifully. I really enjoy reading your work. Also, I hope I haven't annoyed you with the millions of comments I've left around your writings, haha. :)

Fri, April 27th, 2012 2:23pm


Not at all, my fellow Filipino! Haha, your feedback is like soothing balm to the aching spirit of a fledgling writer. :D I am very glad you enjoy reading my works, and I hope you enjoy my future works! :)

Fri, April 27th, 2012 8:48am


Truly amazing!
Love it!

Sun, April 29th, 2012 4:19pm


I'm glad you liked it, OpenMinds! :D

Mon, April 30th, 2012 9:41am


truly amazing.. filipinos really got a real talent :))
nicely written :))

Mon, April 30th, 2012 3:40am


Hahah, thanks Smile Valentine! xD

Mon, April 30th, 2012 9:41am


oh this is good, leting your heart flow on to paper and such.

Mon, April 30th, 2012 3:42pm


Thank you, Laquetta! But I have to admit that these do not necessarily originate from my own spirit. I simply did what I could to put the energy of my case study's emotions into writing. :)

Mon, April 30th, 2012 9:46am


Excellent! You juggle your words with panache and precision; words well chosen for their effect and ability to subtly alter the strength and meaning of neighboring words.

Mon, April 30th, 2012 6:58pm


Thank you for your comment, Irwin! I always try my best to find just the right words for my pieces, just like how any composer tries to find the right notes. I treat poetry the same way I treat music. :D

Mon, April 30th, 2012 6:10pm


this is simply wonderful, but it makes me feel terrible, that you've never felt this. i strongly recommend you read my "i'm still waiting to meet you". it was written for a fan who is a hopeless romantic, but has never been in love. never, ever stop looking for it until you experience it. you'll never be the same again. oh, and yes, i loved your poem!

Wed, May 2nd, 2012 7:57am


Thanks again for the feedback, Brucek! Though I do not necessarily share the same sentiments of the poem, I believe that we as poets should also serve as mediums through which the sentiments of others can take shape in literature, much the same way I tried my best to capture the emotions of the person who opened his heart to me through this piece. :) Haha, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to know what it feels like soon (I'm currently being courted by an old-school romantic, so I've got my fingers crossed). xD

Wed, May 2nd, 2012 1:09am


BWAHAHA! >:D I wasn't done with reading your works! XDD Sorry 'bout that mate, I was busy and had to do somethin' as soon as I was done reading your brilliant well-written essay! XD XD
Anywho~ WOW! AMAZING poem! XD Heart-felt, and very descriptive on emotions! :D :D WHOO-HOO, WELL DONE! XD

Wed, May 2nd, 2012 7:49pm


Hahaha, thanks Lulu! xD

Wed, May 2nd, 2012 1:41pm

Cosmic Crow

It is very good. I know this is nit picky but one change I would make and it is little, is the line that reads, "And nostalgia is a fleeting and doubtful spirit." Try taking the word spirit out and try reading it through and see if it has a better flow. See I told ya it was nit picky. It is hard to give you advise when you write so well. ~keep it up~

Fri, May 4th, 2012 5:31pm


Thank you, Cosmic Crow! I'm actually quite happy with your feedback since now I get a chance to reread my work and see if your suggestion works. :D I'll get to it when I'm able to focus more. :D

Fri, May 4th, 2012 10:33am

McHeaven McHeaven

Classic! A work of art. I agree with Cosmic Crow though, because nustalgia is not a spirit but a strong feeling of yearning for the past, a feeling that stirs the spirit. Idk, that may only be a figure of speech but it just doesn't fit. Just how I see it. But apart from that, everything's impressive. Almost spotless. Good job xoxo

Sat, May 5th, 2012 1:09am


Thanks, McHeaven! I tend to do a lot of personifying, so yeah, it's pretty much a figure of speech. :)) Like I said to Cosmic Crow though, I think that's a valid observation and I'll be sure to reread my poem again when I have time to focus on it. :)

Sat, May 5th, 2012 4:22am


Good job on this piece. Keep writing.

Mon, May 7th, 2012 10:22am


Thanks, Razor Blade! I'll be sure to keep writing. :D

Tue, May 8th, 2012 5:29am

steven cooke

A poem that has a victorian feel about it. Very well expressed and an excellent love poem. I shall visit again.

Mon, May 7th, 2012 11:39am


Thanks, Mr. Steven! Hope to see a little more of you in my page soon! :)

Tue, May 8th, 2012 5:30am


nice one;-)

Tue, May 8th, 2012 2:58pm


Thanks, Pakla! :)

Tue, May 8th, 2012 8:35am

towers of academe

As you were kind enough not to delete my general comment on your site, I will read some of your stuff. I write poems, so I have found one of yours. Well, we can be inspired to write by an experience that has an effect on us in some way. That must be the case here.
You use some interesting adjectives.
I have Filipino neighbours, by the way.

Sun, June 17th, 2012 9:28pm


I must be honest, good Sir: I needed to brush up on what little French I knew just to understand what you posted (but my answer is "most definitely, when I find the time amidst my now busy school schedule"). Hahah! But anyway, thank you for your feedback, though I am still uncertain whether your comment regarding my use of "interesting adjectives" is praise or criticism. :) How are your Filipino neighbors, by the way? I am always interested about how my countrymen are faring in far-flung lands. :)

Mon, June 18th, 2012 7:46am

Nicola Chudasch

this is such a beautiful poem. it made me feel so sad and yet so thankful at the same time. you are so gifted :o)

Thu, July 19th, 2012 10:08am


Thank you for your kindness, Nicola! It is not exactly my best work, but I'm really hoping to get better at poetry because it's one of the more challenging forms of literature. :>

Tue, April 30th, 2013 8:52pm

Maria Linda

Awesome one.
You sure have talent that can make me jealous haha!

Keep on writing.

Sun, May 12th, 2013 9:54am


Hahaha, thank you Maria! Honestly though, I feel that I'm much better at narrative essays. I find poetry very difficult, but it's a style I hope to improve on. :)

Sun, May 12th, 2013 3:14am

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