Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reflections on Love and Romance


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-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring 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 prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

- William Shakespeare
Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets.  This is Sonnet 116 and it is my favourite.  I consider it to be the greatest love poem that I have ever read.  Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, Number 16 would like to share this beautiful sonnet with you.  By the way, a sonnet has 14 lines and a Shakespearean or English sonnet ends in a rhyming couplet.

Here are some random thoughts and reflections on romantic love.

The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can ever end.

- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British statesman and novelist
From Henrietta Temple [1837]

Much love much trial, but what an utter desert is life without love.

- Charles Darwin (1809-1892)
Letter to Joseph Hooker, November 27, 1863

To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.

- Soren Kierkegaard
From Works of Love, Hong & Hong translation

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made like bread; remade all the time, made new.

- Ursula K. Le Guin
From The Lathe of Heaven {1971}

Experience shows us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French novelist
From Wind, Sand and Stars {1939}

The course of true love never did run smooth.

- William Shakespeare
From A Midsummer Night’s Dream

‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
From In Memoriam A.H.H. [1850]


To me, Casablanca (1942) is the most romantic movie ever made.  The love story between Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) absolutely resonates.  It is passionate, heartbreaking and poignant.  Is there a more romantic line than, “We’ll always have Paris”? If there is, please let me know.

- Joanne

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