Macabre wedding reading: I Want to Die While You Love Me #Ceremony Advice#goth#readings Updated Feb 10 2020 (Posted Dec 6 2019) Guest post by Samantha Original photo by Ashley Rae Photography … you've got to see the full gallery from this halloween wedding inspiration. This wedding reading may be a bit macabre for some, but I've always loved poems that possess a certain darkness and beauty at the same time. This poem is one of my favorites and is a great way to get some "'til death do us part" or slightly goth vibes into your wedding ceremony… I Want to Die While You Love Me by Georgia Douglas Johnson Related Post The giant list of non-barfworthy love poems for weddings We love us a good non-cheesy love poem that makes our arm hair stand up without triggering the cringe from barf-worthy poems that suck. Good... Read more I want to die while you love me, While yet you hold me fair, While laughter lies upon my lips And lights are in my hair. I want to die while you love me, And bear to that still bed, Your kisses turbulent, unspent To warm me when I'm dead. I want to die while you love me Oh, who would care to live Till love has nothing more to ask And nothing more to give? I want to die while you love me And never, never see The glory of this perfect day Grow dim or cease to be! What do you think? Was this reading too grim? Well, good thing we've got tons of OTHER readings in our giant wedding reading repository! Related Post Bookish couples: 18 wedding readings from literature to tickle your amygdala Bookish couples: we know you and we love you. So we're sharing a whole new batch of killer wedding readings just for you. We've got wedding readings from literature including… Read More PS: Share your wedding reading in the comments! Samantha PREVIOUS Not your average celebrity rings: imagining the engagement rings of our favorite fictional characters NEXT This quirky Austin wedding had tons of color & even more style Show/Hide comments [ 3 ] My chorus performed this poem as a song earlier in the year, and it was very controversial among the singers because of its seemingly depressing themes, but for me it helped to learn its historical context. It doesn't have to be read as macabre. Georgia Douglas Johnson was a black poet writing during the Harlem Renaissance (circa 1920), and this poem was in part a response to white constructions of black sexuality. The dominant racist discourse saw black people primarily as bodies and therefore black relationships as sexual and procreative but not romantic. In "I Want to Die While You Love Me," Johnson is pressing against this racist narrative, describing a relationship that is infused with pure romance, the strongest love she can imagine, in which physical elements are inseparable from emotional. Composer Rosephanye Powell puts it this way: "Georgia Douglas Johnson describes a day in which she and her beloved experience the height of passion; one day spent alone in which each finds his/her heart’s pleasure in the other and the fire of love is full flame. It is a day that Johnson hopes will never end and wishes to carry to her death." In other words, this isn't a poem about wanting to die, it's a poem about loving, as intensely as she does on this one passionate day, until the end of life. (Yes, "till death do us part.") And — historically speaking — about doing so in resistance to a dominant culture that doesn't believe you even can. People of color are still subjected to these constructions at times, as are people in same-sex relationships. In this context, it can be read not as dark and gothic (though it can be if that's what you're into) but as an empowering narrative for anyone who has felt others try to reduce them to mere embodiment. Reply OMG, thank you so much for sharing this larger historical context! Reply Thank you for sharing this vital context! Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.