In this post I am going to look at the analysis of ‘I love you, my gentle one’; an African poem by Ralph Bitamazire, which by the way happens to be one of best love poems.
“I love you, my gentle one; my love is the fresh milk in the rubindi which we drank on the wedding day”
In this poem, the persona likens his love to fresh milk in the Rubindi; a vessel, used in Africa to store milk. Comparing his love to fresh milk in the rubindi shows that the persona in the poem still adores his lover like he did the first time he saw her. Nothing to him has changed.
“My love is the butter we were smeared with to seal fidelity into our hearts.”
The persona, lacking appropriate words compares what they have to butter they were smeared with to seal fidelity. By this the persona reminds his love of their wedding day, of the vows they took, to keep them together and not to allow other affairs to tamper with the love they have.
“You are the cattle-bird’s egg, for those who saw you are wealthy. You are the papyrus reed of the lake, which they pull out with both hands.”
Here the persona compares his lover to the cattle Bird’s eggs and the papyrus reeds, meaning, she is so rare and a beauty to behold. She is also strong like a pillar, and cannot be easily broken.
The persona then concludes his poem by professing his undying love to his lover.