Ars Amoris

By J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985
Speak to her heart!   
That manic force   
When wits depart   
Forbids remorse.

Dream with her dreaming   
Until her lust
Seems to her seeming   
An act of trust!

Do without doing!   
Love’s wilful potion   
Veils the ensuing,
And brief, commotion.

J. V. Cunningham, “Ars Amoris” 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 (Alan Swallow Press, 1960)

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Poet J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985

Subjects Love, Men & Women, Relationships, Desire

Holidays Valentine's Day

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, Men & Women, Relationships, Desire

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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