Monday, June 29, 2015

To Cupid - Joanna Baillie

Child, with many a childish wile,
Timid look, and blushing smile,
Downy wings to steal thy way,
Gilded bow, and quiver gay,
Who in thy simple mien would trace
The tyrant of the human race?

Who is he whose flinty heart
Hath not felt the flying dart?
Who is he that from the wound
Hath not pain and pleasure found?
Who is he that hath not shed
Curse and blessing on thy head?

"The tyrant of the human race."  What a fitting title for Cupid.  Cupid, the most obvious stand in for love, is the subject of this poem.  Described as an innocent child int eh first stanza, he is, in reality, cruel, inflicting wonderful, terrible hurt upon the whole human race.  As the poet asks, "Who is he that from the wound / Hath not pain and pleasure found?"  Just about everyone has experienced love, and knows well both its pain and pleasure.  There's really not much more to explain, but the poem is a sentiment that I'm sure most have felt, put simply and elegantly.


  1. I haven't been on here for a bit, but I love Billy Collins--and you were my first introduction to his poetry. I have used it in class and have even been on youtube, finding clips of him reading his poetry. Thank you for teaching the teacher!

    1. That's so wonderful to hear! Collins is one of my absolute favorites, and I was happy to realize that he and I share the same alma mater. His poetry is so accessible, and in his videos, his humor really shines through. I love hearing that poetry has worked its way into the routines of others, so thanks so much for brightening my day with that comment!

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