True Love Poem Summary

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The Meaning of Love Sharon Olds in "True Love" wonders about a true meaning of love in her uniquely written poem about a married couple. She hints that true love is about belonging to one another. That belonging or self-possession is reflected via ties of marriage. She further says that children, which are a product of marriage, only tighten marital bonds even more. The speaker starts her poem by describing two people having sex and looking at each other in a “complete friendship”. However, as much as the poem at first seems to have a positive meaning, the message appears to be quite opposite. In fact, “after making love, we look at each other in complete friendship" (2-3) sounds odd if used when describing the love between friends with benefits or a married couple. Friends with benefits contribute to unhealthy relationships that they are in, which is built on lust and only physical desire. Her poem, perhaps is an ironic portrayal of true love. A true love, if it even exists, is very difficult to preserve and can take a different turn especially within the marriage. True love has been defined as a strong feeling or constant affection for a person. The true love should be mutual and everlasting, however, that feeling can be easily broken if there is no trust. "We know so fully what the other has been doing” (3-4) the author hints at a potential internal issue within the relationship. The couple may know each other very well, but also may have knowledge of each other's wrong doing. The speaker further describes the two at most comfort with each other, with no boundaries when saying "we wonder down the hall to the bathroom" (7) or "I sit on the toilet in the night”. (17-18). The bathroom and the toilet represent the most private places or objects used in our lives. While the use of restroom in the presence of our loved ones may symbolize, a total comfort with one another, it may also symbolize a total loss of one’s privacy. The speaker’s choice of these words also takes away any romantics that there should be in a relationship. The supposed true love which should be about intimacy, passion, and commitment often becomes like a warm blanket but not anymore. When the speaker says "our sexes muted, exhausted,
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