What is the poem "If You Love for the Sake of Beauty" by Friedrich Ruckert all about?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The poem is easily laid out as a set of logical/emotional propositions, and readers enjoy discussing the nature of the relationship between the speaker and the listener, and also discussing the various reasons for which people join together in love relationships and marriage. The poem’s hypothetical situation is that the speaker is addressing a lover or suitor who has been offering reasons for loving the speaker. Lines 2, 4, and 6 present images of bright golden hair, the rebirth of spring, and rich and clear pearls. The speaker uses these images to point out her or his limitations, for she or he could never sustain the listener’s love for reasons of beauty, youth, and wealth in lines 1, 3, and 5. The final two lines, particularly the last, climax the previous six because the speaker settles on love alone as the cause of loving, not the previous causes, which have been rejected.

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