I want to call you thou, the sound

of the shape of the start

of a kiss – like this, thou-

and to say, after, I love,

thou, I love, thou I love, not

I love you.

Because I so do – as we say now – I want to say

thee, I adore, I adore thee,

and to know in my lips

the syntax of love resides,

and to gaze in thine eyes.

Love’s language starts, stops, starts;

the right words flowing or clotting in the heart.



Carol Ann Duffy (1955 – Glasgow, UK)

From Rapture (Picador, 2005), © Carol Ann Duffy 2005

To listen to her reading this poem and others:


Leave a Reply