Three poems from Words of Love by Pearl S. Buck (1974)

Pearl S. Buck (1932) feminist quotes

Prolific though she was, Pearl S. Buck wasn’t known as a poet. She produced only a limited number of poems, collected for publication as a slender illustrated volume, Words of Love (1974). Her verses are brief and direct, offering fleeting glimpses of the author’s inner world.

Following is a description from  Words of Love (John Day Company, 1974) along with three poems. (photo at right courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Pearl S. Buck wrote no poetry for the public eye (though she permitted a few verses to appear in her biography). In her lifetime she published scores of novels, short stories, and essays. Her poetry, however, was her private domain, and the verses she wrote — her Words of Love — were inscribed in her treasure book, the journal she kept for her most intimate words and thoughts.

Now a selection of these poems is published, and they reveal once again the versatility of one of America’s most beloved writers.

Written over a period of years, they explore the many moods of love and the subtleties of the human heart Pearl Buck knew so well. Some are joyous, some sad, but all reflect the richness of a spirit which reached out to others.

. . . . . . . . .

Words of love by Pearl S. Buck 1974
. . . . . . . . .


I give you the books I’ve made,
Body and soul, bled and flayed.
Yet the essence they contain
In one poem is made plain,
In one poem is made clear:
On this earth, though far or near,
without love there’s only fear.

. . . . . . . . .


I put away the words of love.
You do not need them anymore.
And now I will pretend to be
Exactly as I was before.
Pretending, I will laugh and sing
Until night falls. Then to my shell
I’ll creep and hide myself away,
Pretending heaven in my hell.

. . . . . . . . .


The slow rise, the swelling joy,
Filling vein and pulse until
Desire, flooding to its full height
Breaks — as breaks the wave upon the sea.
then I am you, love, and
You are me.

2 Responses to “Three poems from Words of Love by Pearl S. Buck (1974)”

  1. Thank you for the information you have introduced me to some American authors that I had not heard of before. I have just finished reading Precious Bane by Mary Web, so I am in the middle of deciding which book to read next.

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