This essay has a total of 792 words and 4 pages.



What is love? It seems to be a pretty simple word, but there is so much meaning behind it.
Love is difficult to define, difficult to measure, and frequently difficult to understand.
Love is what great writers write about; great philosophers wonder about; singers sing
about. Love is a very powerful emotion. Love saves; love conquers; love creates. Love is
passion that cannot be controlled. Both poems we have read, Waiting for Icarus and One
Art, tell us how love alters human minds and hearts, making people in love struggle with
the desire to remain in control of themselves and with the scary feeling of "losing

The first poem, Waiting for Icarus, reveals the story of Icarus' girlfriend waiting for
her lover to come back after his dangerous flight. She is terribly worried about Icarus,
and it is easy to see how much she misses her lover: "I have been waiting all day, or
perhaps longer." (20) As a true lover, Icarus' girlfriend does not even notice time. She
reminds me of the line from the poem "In Retrospect", by Maya Angelou: "We, loving, above
the whim of time, did not notice." But when Icarus' girlfriend is left alone, she starts
remembering things other people have told her before:

" I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying: Inventors are like poets, a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventors are worse
I remember she added: Women who love such are the worst of all" (15-20)
It is easy to see that despite her truthful love towards Icarus, she starts to struggle
with the desire to remain in control of herself. She is afraid that life will become
meaningless without Icarus. After spending a day without her lover, she only lives with
the memory of her Icarus, his words, and his promises:

"He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation…" (2-3)
But she has found the way to stay in control of herself by deciding to "fly away" too. If
he wants freedom, she will not spend her life in pain of knowing she cannot relive her
memories or to replace her lover. Icarus' girlfriend overcomes the scary feeling of
loosing herself that love often generates by choosing freedom, by remaining in control of
herself. She is no longer waiting for Icarus; she is a free woman: " I would have liked to
try those wings myself. It would have been better than this." (23)

In the poem One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop, we see a story of a woman who is mastering "the
art of losing." This woman lives her life like there is no tomorrow. She admits that she
has lost many things, and "their loss is no disaster." (3) She became a master of loosing.
She starts with losing "door keys, the hour badly spent". Then she practices "the art of
losing" farther:

Continues for 2 more pages >>