Countdown to St. Valentine’s Day! Day Two!
Are you feeling romantic yet? No? Oh well, then I have a gem of a poem for you today.
My all-time favourite of Shakespeare’s sonnets is 116. I remember studying this and teaching it too. It’s so beautiful and reminds us that love, true love, should be unconditional.
Of course, you may be familiar with this sonnet through Emma Thompson’s film version of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. In that film the love-struck Marianne Dashwood and John Willoughby discover their love of The Bard and sonnet 116 in particular.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed 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.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.