"Love in Place" by Nikki Giovanni is a poem about the effects of love. I really like Nikki Giovanni's poem because it is simple and honest. She talks about how she knew she was in love by silly indicators such as refraining from biting her cuticles. I liked this part a lot because although it seems superficial, I can certainly relate!
When I have an active romantic interest in my life, I find that I take better care of myself, wanting to look and feel my best. This is partly because I know that someone else is counting on me. This concept applies to family love as well. When I am on good terms with my father, I am more likely to wear my seat belt, for I know that he is counting on me to be safe. When I am dating a man a care about, I am more likely to wash off all my makeup at night and eat more balanced meals. As ridiculous as this may seem, when others take an interest in me, I am more likely to take an interest in myself. This applies to both my appearance, my health, and my overall well-being.
The ultimate goal of love is to achieve happiness. When we are happy, small tasks tasks that would ordinarily seem mundane may become more exciting. Nikki Giovanni speaks of how this applied to her for when she was in love she baked corn bread.
Moreover, a healthy sort of love makes us eager to broaden our horizons, expecting more from both ourselves and our lovers. We begin to gain a greater appreciation for things, such as Giovanni's interest in Billie Holiday and Billy Strayhorn.
She speaks of old photographs where she sees her happiness reflected in both the eyes of her and her lover. I often mourn past loves by looking at old pictures. Although they are sometimes saddening, I know that I am bettered for having such meaningful relationships. When I reflect upon endless batches of cookies and thousands of letters that I sent to my love in the Marine Corps, I think not of ingredients and paper wasted, but of purpose and joy that I received in return.