Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sonnet 116 -- a National Poetry Month post

Today, in honor of my umpteenth viewing of Sense & Sensibility, I share with you Sonnet 116 from William Shakespeare. Fans of the Emma Thompson version of the movie will recognize it as the one recited by Marianne and Willoughby when he first visits her after rescuing her from a twisted ankle in the rain.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
&emsp If this be error and upon me proved,
&emsp I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

I'm not certain I agree with Will here -- in my experience, love does change over time. Still, there's something wonderfully charming about the notion that is "an ever-fixèd mark."

What say you on the subject?

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