‘The Beauty of Union’ was read at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, recorded and played before the BBC’s coverage of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding on May 19th, 2018. Later estimates suggested that around 1.9 billion people watched the broadcast. Throughout the poem, readers will encounter clear images of love and partnership. George the Poet’s language is very direct throughout allowing this poem to be enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible.
Explore The Beauty of Union
The speaker begins the poem by speaking not the beauty of relationships such as the one formalized on May 19th, 2018. He depicts the union as strong and as a force that’s going to combine two people into one. Together, the two will merge their lives and make decisions together. They will always think of one another and enjoy the beauty of their lives together without worry about the spotlight on them.
You can read the full poem ‘The Beauty of Union’ here.
George the Poet engages with themes of love and relationships in ‘The Beauty of Union.’ The poet does not disguise or complicate his intentions in this poem. Readers are immediately informed of what the poem’s going to be about and what they should walk away from it thinking. He emphasizes how important a strong partnership is, and its basis in love, within the poem as well. Without this crucial element, it’s unlikely marriage is going to work.
Structure and Form
‘The Beauty of Union’ by George the Poet is a twenty-three line poem that is contained within one stanza of text. The lines do not follow a specific rhyme scheme or metrical pattern. Despite this, readers can find several good examples of end rhyme. For instance, “win” and “in” at the ends of lines eight and ten as well as the rhyme between “outside” and “pride” at the ends of lines fourteen and fifteen.
George the Poet makes use of several literary devices in ‘The Beauty of Union.’ These include but are not limited to epistrophe, anaphora, and enjambment. The first of these occurs when the poet repeats the same word or words at the ends of multiple lines. For example, “union,” which ends lines one, six, twenty-two, and twenty-three. This helps to create a feeling of rhyme/rhythm even if there isn’t a clear pattern.
Similar to epistrophe is anaphora. It is concerned with the repetition of words at the beginning of lines. For instance, “It wants us to” at the beginning of lines thirteen and fourteen. Additionally, the next two lines both start with “Even.” The last two lines of the poem are another good example. They are identical, creating a perfect example of repetition, not to mention both anaphora and epistrophe.
Enjambment is a common formal device that occurs when the poet cuts off a line before its natural stopping point. For example, the transition between lines one, two, and three, as well as lines eleven, twelve, and eight. Readers will notice right away that the vast majority of the lines in this poem are enjambed. This technique can help the poem feel more natural when read allowed, due to the fact that pauses are kept to a minimum.
There’s an indescribable beauty in union
Is if I think of you in everything I do
And honour every decision you faithfully include me in.”
In the first lines of ‘The Beauty of Union,’ the speaker begins by outlining what the title has already put forward. There is an “indescribably beauty in union,” he says. This is a reference to a marital union but also an emotional one. Two people become one, he goes on to say. They enter into one another’s worlds and conform to one another. They “Surrender…each other’s selves.”
The poet brings back in the word “union” again a few lines later, adding this time that there is a “bravery in union,” in addition to a “beauty.”
Throughout the lines of the poem, George the Poet uses simple, easy to understand language. His words are clear and do not leave much to be interpreted. The poet is making a direct statement about love, marriage, and the future of a specific couple. Despite the latter, the poem should resonate with a wide swath of the listening public.
There are a few lines of dialogue at the end of this section. It is the first time that the poet has used end punctuation as well as the only time in the poem that lines are in speech marks. He uses these lines to depict what the relationship should be like between these two partners. They should honor one when making decisions and think of one another in everything they do.
Love gives union true meaning
It illuminates the path
It wants us to compromise, communicate and laugh
Such is the beauty of union
Such is the beauty of union
In the next few lines of ‘The Beauty of Union,’ the speaker defines “love” as the thing that gives a union “true meaning.” Without that, the path will remain dark and one will be unwilling to compromise, communicate or laugh. It’s integral to a successful partnership. There are some good examples of repetition in these lines, particularly with the use of “It wants us to” in lines thirteen and fourteen.
In the following lines, the poet alludes to the audience watching the union of the Duke and Duchess on television and the historical “immortal significance” of their marriage. At the heart of it are two people who love one another and in their love are able to set aside the pressure of the situation and enjoy the moment. The poem concludes with the repetition of the sentiments expressed at the beginning of the poem in regard to a union being a beautiful thing and the creation of a partnership.
Readers who enjoyed ‘The Beauty of Union’ should also consider reading some other related poems. For example:
- ‘The Difficulty that is Marriage’ by Paul Durcan — is a loving sonnet dedicated to the speaker’s partner and their sustained marriage.
- ‘Love is Enough’ by William Morris — speaks on the power of love in the face of human kind’s most depressing, darkest experiences. Read more poetry from William Morris.
- ‘He loved three things, alive:’ by Anna Akhmatova — a short, darker poem in which the speaker describes her husband’s likes and dislikes.