The Kiss

By Robert Graves 1895–1985 Robert Graves
Are you shaken, are you stirred
    By a whisper of love,
Spellbound to a word
    Does Time cease to move,
Till her calm grey eye
    Expands to a sky
And the clouds of her hair
    Like storms go by?
 
Then the lips that you have kissed
    Turn to frost and fire,
And a white-steaming mist
    Obscures desire:
So back to their birth
    Fade water, air, earth,
And the First Power moves
    Over void and dearth.

Is that Love? no, but Death,
    A passion, a shout,
The deep in-breath,
    The breath roaring out,
And once that is flown,
    You must lie alone,
Without hope, without life,
    Poor flesh, sad bone.

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Poet Robert Graves 1895–1985

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Living, Death, Relationships, Love, Nature, Weather, The Body

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Rhymed Stanza

 Robert  Graves

Biography

Robert Graves often stirred controversy in his endeavors as a poet, novelist, critic, mythographer, translator, and editor. Stephen Spender in the New York Times Book Review characterized Graves as a free thinker: "All of his life Graves has been indifferent to fashion, and the great and deserved reputation he has is based on his individuality as a poet who is both intensely idiosyncratic and unlike any other contemporary poet . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Relationships, Love, Nature, Weather, The Body

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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