Love Song For Lucinda, Langston Hughes: Summary & Analysis

In "Love Song For Lucinda" by Langston Hughes, the poet presents a series of metaphors to convey the complexities of love. Through vivid imagery and metaphoric comparisons, Hughes explores the dual nature of love, simultaneously alluring and challenging.

Love Song For Lucinda

Is a ripe plum
Growing on a purple tree.
Taste it once
And the spell of its enchantment
Will never let you be.
Is a bright star
Glowing in far Southern skies.
Look too hard
And its burning flame
Will always hurt your eyes.
Is a high mountain
Stark in a windy sky.
If you
Would never lose your breath
Do not climb too high.

Critical Analysis

"Love Song For Lucinda" presents a series of metaphors that explore love's complexity, capturing both its allure and its challenges. The poem's metaphoric imagery and concise language convey a sense of caution and admiration when it comes to the experience of love.

The metaphors employed in the poem emphasize the multifaceted nature of love. The comparison of love to a "ripe plum / Growing on a purple tree" conveys the idea of a delicious and tempting experience.

The notion that tasting love once results in being ensnared by its "enchantment" suggests the addictive and captivating quality of love, hinting at its potential to consume one's thoughts and emotions.

The metaphor of love as a "bright star / Glowing in far Southern skies" implies the radiance and beauty of love, but also the potential to hurt if stared at too intensely.

The image of love as a "high mountain / Stark in a windy sky" symbolizes the grandeur and challenge of love. The cautionary advice to "not climb too high" suggests the importance of maintaining balance and not becoming overwhelmed.

"Love Song For Lucinda" encapsulates the bittersweet essence of love, celebrating its enchanting qualities while also acknowledging its potential to bring pain and challenges.


"Love Song For Lucinda" by Langston Hughes employs metaphors to explore the multi-dimensional nature of love. The poem captures both the enticing allure and the cautionary aspects of love, emphasizing the need for balance and appreciation in its pursuit.

Themes of the Poem

  • Love's Complexity: The poem delves into the multifaceted nature of love, depicting it as both enchanting and potentially overwhelming.
  • Balance and Caution: The poem underscores the importance of maintaining a sense of balance and not becoming consumed by love's intensity.

Stylistic Analysis

  • Metaphor and Imagery: The poem's use of metaphoric imagery, such as "ripe plum," "bright star," and "high mountain," creates vivid comparisons that evoke the various aspects of love.
  • Concise Language: The brevity of the lines and language enhances the impact of the metaphoric imagery and the economy of expression.


  • Attraction and Admiration: The metaphors convey a sense of admiration for love's enchanting qualities and its power to captivate.
  • Caution and Reflection: The poem also conveys a sense of caution, suggesting the need to approach love with mindfulness and balance.


  • Metaphor and Symbolism: The use of metaphors throughout the poem serves as symbolic representations of love's diverse facets.
  • Imagery: The imagery of "ripe plum," "bright star," and "high mountain" creates a visual representation of the different aspects of love.

Sound Devices

  • Rhythm and Flow: The poem's rhythmic structure enhances the flow of metaphors, contributing to the poem's introspective tone.
  • Alliteration: All

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