Unromantic Love

By J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985
There is no stillness in this wood.
The quiet of this clearing
Is the denial of my hearing
The sounds I should.

There is no vision in this glade.
This tower of sun revealing
The timbered scaffoldage is stealing
Essence from shade.

Only my love is love’s ideal.
The love I could discover
In these recesses knows no lover,
Is the unreal,

The undefined, unanalysed,
Unabsolute many;
It is antithesis of any,
In none comprised.

J. V. Cunningham, “Unromantic Love” from The Exclusions of a Rhyme: Poems and Epigrams. Copyright © 1960 by J. V. Cunningham. Reprinted with the permission of Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Exclusions of a Rhyme: Poems and Epigrams (Ohio University Press, 1960)

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Poet J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985

Subjects Love, Relationships, Unrequited Love, Realistic & Complicated

Occasions Anniversary

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


J. V. Cunningham, poet, critic, editor, and general man of letters, gained the high regard of his literary colleagues for his concise, witty, epigrammatic poetry. In a 1961 study, The Poetry of J. V. Cunningham, his mentor Yvor Winters called him "the most consistently distinguished poet writing in English today, and one of the finest in the language." About the same time, Thom Gunn wrote in a Yale Review article on The . . .

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SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Unrequited Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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