O Tell Me The Truth About Love

Seen on the R subway line between Atlantic-Pacific and 7th street.

When it comes, will it come without warning?

Just as I’m picking my nose?

Will it knock on my door in the morning?

Or step in the bus on my toes?

Will it comes like a change in the weather?

Will its greeting be courteous or rough?

Will it alter my life altogether?

Or tell me the truth about love?

I still don’t know what “it” is. Any thoughts?

15 Responses to O Tell Me The Truth About Love

  1. whatnext says:

    seems clear. “it” is the beloved. it’s the horrible or loveable “she” who will inevitably either tell you or show you “the truth about love.”


    the beauty of this thing is that it lives on the R line. it almost makes you believe that love is possible.

  2. awesomeface says:

    “the beloved” seems too obvious. try reading it with “death” in mind instead. or “faith”.
    i think that’s the real genius of this poem, of any good poem or writing really. it leaves a gap that must be filled if the piece is to make sense, and in one way or another it draws the reader to fill that gap with personal information. an emotional mad lib you could say.
    or i guess it makes you feel like less of a creep while you gawk at that bittie four seats down on the train.

  3. DocBrayPA says:

    This is the final verse to a WH Auden poem:

    O Tell Me the Truth About Love
    Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 – 1973)

    I did a search on the second line of the passage and found quite a few hits.

    Seems quite popular amonst the lovelorn . . .

  4. whatnext says:

    wouldn’t it be great if “love” really did turn out to look like “the ham in a temperance hotel” as the poem suggests?

  5. myecan says:

    “It” is “Peace”

  6. Bob says:

    I used a service called mededits.com when I transfered. They helped me with my personal statements, letters of rec, and gave great advice. I also read iverson’s “getting into residency.”

  7. sohoboy says:

    “It” is love. See first two lines of poem —

    “Some say love’s a little boy,
    And some say it’s a bird …”

  8. Natarsha says:

    The word it is “love” W H Auden was trying to find a way of decribing what love looks like thats why he uses the word it instead of using LOVE all the time

    I agree with Sohoboy, read the first two lines

    They tell us what Auden is talking about, also the title

    O Tell Me The Truth About Love
    what else do you think he may be talking about?


  9. keiran Curtis says:

    I just got back from Cube in Canberra when I read this poem for the first time. I’d just gotten head from someone in the toilets and I was extremely touched. So you can understand I had no sperm left, but when this little one popped up I just came all over the screen. Now I’m out of tissues and my keyboard and screen are ruined. Please help me pay, I dont have a lot of money. I spend it on gay porn.


  10. Stephanie says:

    To be quite honest, i do believe that the “it” refers to the love that enters ones life, however, I feel there is definitely symbolic meaning in this poem. I believe that at the same time he is speaking of the confusion and what is love it can be compared to the fact that when relationships begins everyone is kind of not sure and wonders whether or not it is real. And then also, at the end of the poem he can be referring to the act of love and almost be talking in a pornographic mindset, which would conclude and give way to the answer of what love is. Just some thoughts!

  11. Samuel williams says:

    Wow love love love , my i know it’s mystries

  12. i am doing this poem this year in my A2 study so thanks for sharing

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