My Love Is Like To Ice Poem by Edmund Spenser

My Love Is Like To Ice

Rating: 3.1

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal's with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.

My Love Is Like To Ice
Augusta Pearce 30 September 2012

A lovely poem that speaks the truth

11 14 Reply
Michael Pruchnicki 30 September 2009

The speaker in Spenser's sonnet 'My Love Is Like to Ice' is the mask the poet adopts, using an ancient rhetorical device. The poet and the speaker (or persona, which literally means 'mask') are not necessarily one and the same. You can consider it the perceiving consciousness, if you prefer; the main thing is to avoid the confusion and misunderstanding that accompanies the error. Please remember that a poet like Spenser was always in complete control of his subject. He was not given to flights of fancy in any way whatsoever! The poem is a sonnet grouped into three quatrains and a couplet. The rhyme scheme of the first quatrain is ABAB / fire, great, desire, entreat; the second is BCBC / heat, cold, sweat, manifold; the third rhymes CDCD / told, ice, cold, device; and the couplet rhymes EE / mind, kind. The rhyme includes near rhyme in great/entreat and heat/sweat. Keep in mind that in Spenser's day, poetry was considered a rhetorical game more often than not. The first line is a simile that compares his love/beloved one to ice and the speaker to a fire that for some reason does not thaw his frozen love. The more he pursues her, the faster she flees (the colder she gets!) . There is a 'law of contraries' being created here that defies natural law - those laws like gravity that operate on one and all in normal circumstances. But these are NOT normal times, the speaker alleges. This is a time for miracles in the realm of romance. We are in a foreign place where the usual laws do not apply. The couplet resolves the dilemma by sleight of language - the power of love can overrule natural love and change our very nature. Our 'kind' (mankind) can be changed to its very core.

10 12 Reply
Robert Graber 30 September 2011

This is an exemplar of an artificial 'problem' created and then 'solved' to demonstrate the poet's wit-a basic feature of many Elizabethan courtly-love sonnets. Robert Bates Graber Author, PLUTONIC SONNETS

7 13 Reply
Allemagne Roßmann 30 September 2012

A greate write and honoured to read this

7 12 Reply
R Stansfield 24 July 2011

Spenser is the flame which is loving her. She is too cold but this doesn't stop him shining, only the love does not push her away, she simply doesn't care. As his love becomes stronger, it is making her colder, love is a flame which is different to any other emotion, because it cannot melt anything. LOVLEY POEM, this is just my opinion, im not trying to be clever

8 11 Reply
Chinedu Dike 05 September 2022

Great work of art

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MAHTAB BANGALEE 05 September 2022

Power of love; yes, only power of love can change everything

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Rose Marie Juan-austin 08 January 2022

A vivid and brilliant portrayal of the power of love. A great poem.

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Chinedu Dike 29 December 2021

A piece of great elegance with wonderful rendition of words to utmost justice. A masterful creation.........

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Ramesh T A 29 December 2021

Love can do anything and everything in the world!

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Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser

London / England
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