! ! Love's Grammar Book
I love you.
That's it, really.
all there is to say.
sums it up.
in a nutshell.
the long and the short of it.
the be-all and the end-all.
I know what I mean;
you know what I mean.
more or less.
we know what I mean.
most of the time.
But though love's sometimes
best defined by silence
it may be good
to say a few good words
since you, and love, have taught me
I love 'love'.
though love as noun is difficult to define.
I love love as an adjective:
love's.. just lovely, isn't it?
But most of all
I love love as verb.
and this I know:
this my love's active voice:
I love. (you) .
I loved you. How well I remember.
I have loved you. I'm so grateful for that.
I shall love you. That I promise.
and when all is done, I'll be proud to remember that
I shall have loved you;
we shall have loved.
And in love's passive voice,
I'm so blessed that
I am loved;
rejoice in the hope that
I shall be loved
and promise that
you shall be loved.
I'll always be blessed that
I have been loved.
and that I can say
you shall have been loved (forever) .
Then there are love's moods
as they're called in grammar:
the indicative - I love you; do you love me?
the exciting imperative mood:
'Love me, do - I promise I'll be true...' or better,
'Love me! Now! ';
the subjunctive mood
which is rather subtler in other languages:
'Don't leave me, please';
'May we love each other till we die...';
'If only you were to love me
as much as I love you..'
And then, those other parts of speech
that few of us get around to sorting out
but all lurking there under 'amo'
in the Latin grammar-book of love:
The perfect infinitive:
'It is better - to have loved - and lost - than
not -to have loved -at all';
that great feeling
called future infinitive:
to be about to love;
and that dizzy future infinitive passive:
to be about to be loved;
'Oh the loving and the kissing
and the kissing and the loving...';
that cautious supine:
'in order to love...';
the passive imperative -
the parents' wish (with qualifications) :
'let her be loved'...
and that loaded gerundive:
'fit to be loved'...
All of which, I hope, leaves you
in that state curiously undefined
by grammar -
a sort of active gerundive:
'fit to love' - to love
for love conquers all, it's said,
even a hatred of grammar.
Michael Shepherd's Other Poems
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