If I Had Known

By Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

If I Had Known

If I had known

Two years ago how drear this life should be,

And crowd upon itself allstrangely sad,

Mayhap another song would burst from out my lips,

Overflowing with the happiness of future hopes;

Mayhap another throb than that of joy.

Have stirred my soul into its inmost depths,

If I had known.


If I had known,

Two years ago the impotence of love,

The vainness of a kiss, how barren a caress,

Mayhap my soul to higher things have soarn,

Nor clung to earthly loves and tender dreams,

But ever up aloft into the blue empyrean,

And there to master all the world of mind,

If I had known.

Main Idea

The poem "If I Had Known" by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson is about lost love. After a divorce with her husband, he had left her depressed and unhappy about the decisions she had made in the past. In her sadness Nelson decided to write a poem about her past. She is now left empty and vulnerable. She realizes that love can be so rotten and is turned away from it. At the end of the poem she goes on the say it was a waste of time. She then shifts her focus from the past to the present and talks about how now she can achieve her dreams.
Bruno Mars - If I Knew [Live in Paris]