Free After Love by Susan Ludvigson Essay Sample

The poem “After Love” by Susan Ludvigson is an expression of the bizarre events and emotions that a person who falls in love undergoes through. In clear, concise and literal language, she tells an allegory of a butterfly that gets off the body of an individual for some time and stays aloof from up the ceiling. After a while, the butterfly comes back and settles in the heart from where it had escaped. The poem does not use a lot of words in putting across its meaning, since the time it represents is also short. However, the two events of that butterfly that represents thought or reason happen uncontrollably, because the author states that she can remember when reason flew out of her and came back.

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Infatuation by People in Love

The moth that is mentioned in the poem by Ludvigson is metaphorical in that reason is given new characteristics. She says, ‘… and fluttered there, a moth, a translucence waiting…’ From this, it is quite obvious that a person in love becomes impervious to reasoning and the decisions taken are not thought through. This is usually true of those people that are in love because of infatuation, the voice of reasoning and caution is obliterated and becomes vaguely discernable. It is quite clear from the poem that the author is not willing to reason because in that high state of emotions, reason just dislodges itself from her because it has lost its appeal. However, after sometime it comes back and things return to normal and life goes on. In times of excitement, people tend to disregard reasoning - a fact that the author is clearly pointing out here.

The Short Lived Moments of Excitement

The length of the poem and diction of words are used by Ludvigson to show the short time that people momentarily become carried by emotions and excitement. In life, there are many those extenuating circumstances that people find themselves in to a point of throwing all caution to the wind. It may be in times of danger or when being in love, and the interesting thing is that the response is always the same. This response is geared towards self preservation and benefiting the most. The author falls in love and in that state of euphoria, she does not care what happens, but all she wants is to savor the moment. Unfortunately, this moment is not long lived, and reality sets in, which ushers in the voice of reason that had been exiled. The good thing is that such states do not continue for long, because without reasoning people cannot survive in this world.

The Uncontrollable Nature of Human Emotions

The author also presents the diabolical nature of human’s emotions that can sometimes be uncontrollable. The poem is entitled ‘after love’, which is clearly about the motions when one is in love. To clearly illustrate the uncontrollable nature of human’s emotions, Ludvigson uses a moth that flies away ‘..Flew out with a sigh, went winging up to a corner of the ceiling and fluttered there.’ The moth was even astonished at the sudden uncontrolled behavior, which made it temporarily give room. However, the moth was considerate in that after some time it came back, which is understandably when the emotions subsided. This normally happens when a person is under intense emotional feelings that paralyze the normal thinking patterns and instead opt for short cuts. 


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