Limit To Your Love

The song “Limit to Your Love” by James Blake is from his premier album James Blake. The speaker of the song seems to be a heartbroken person who is trying to understand and analyze why his audience does not fully love him. The audience is the person the speaker is most likely in love with. The song is very self explanatory. It is extremely concise with only three verses that detail how limited his audience’s love truly is.

The song highlights just how truly hopeless the speaker seems to be. Although, the song is three verses they are made up of the same 5 lines, which are:

There’s a limit to your love

Like a waterfall in slow motion

Like a map with no ocean

So carelessly there, is it truth or dare

There’s a limit to your care

The combination and repetition of the verses reinforces the feeling of hopelessness the speaker feels. You can tell through the lyrics that they are frustrated their audience does not care so deeply for them.

Of the 5 repeated lines, two of them utilize similes. “like a waterfall in slow motion” and “like a map with no ocean.” The careful choice of metaphor clearly depicts how their audience’s love is not complete. Waterfalls are loud and fast and a waterfall in slow motion would hardly be a waterfall at all. A map without an ocean would hardly be complete and lead one to be confused if they were trying to use a map to direct themselves or find an area. The metaphors show how lacking the love is the speaker is describing.

The speaker also utilizes what I would call “rolling diction” (which is a term I just made up). The L sounds that are used repetitively in “limit, love, carelessly, slow, waterfall and like” quite literally roll off the tongue. The contrast in the softness of the L sound and the cutting tone of hopelessness portrayed in the actual meaning of the words displays just how complex the speaker feels. Their audience has no love for them, but they compare it so such beautiful things but they are still trying to figure out the true depth of this limited love.

5 thoughts on “Limit To Your Love

  1. EMILY I

    When I read the lines: “Like a waterfall in slow motion/ Like a map with no ocean” I thought of imagery due to the vivid description the speaker provides. I think these lines really emphasize the idea that there is no limit to love. Waterfalls go on forever and one that is in slow motion would be infinite. A map shows oceans acting as borders because there is no more land to go on; a map with no ocean would not have any limits. Therefore, I agree with your idea that these lines reinforce the feeling of hopelessness.

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  2. JENNA S

    I really appreciate your analysis of this poem and lines. I like the simile comparison to a waterfall in slow motion since it really makes you picture that something is off. It’s almost like his love is trying to flow but since the audience isn’t reciprocating the feelings, his love has no force.

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  3. SYDNEY G

    I love your made up term 🙂 I think that the word choice definitely adds to the emotion and feeling that the artist is trying to portray. I also think that the artist uses metaphors to symbolize further meaning in the song.

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  4. Monty E

    I really like your analysis of the song. I like how you highlighted the repetition of this song and the direction the song has to portray a bigger meaning.

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  5. Paige M

    This is such a great analysis! I really liked how you described the role of repetition in this song. I especially liked the part about rolling diction in the song and the contrast in the softness of the L sound with the tone of hopelessness! That is super interesting to me and it provides such a deeper layer to the song itself.

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