So, here we are, Valentine’s Day 2016. Another year and another day where the magic of love is celebrated across the globe. To mark the occasion I’m going to share one of my favourite poems about love with you.
It’s Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 and those of you who are familiar with it might be scratching your heads right now and wondering why I chose these particular fourteen lines where Shakespeare basically derides the physical attributes of the object of his affections.
However, for me, that is the point. There is a truth and a reality in this Sonnet that is not present in so many other works. Here, Shakespeare lays bare the fact he doesn’t find the lady in question particularly attractive and that others exist who are far more beauteous than her. She is far from perfect but he loves her all the same, if not more so than he could love any of those other goddesses.
The last two lines are so beautiful – where he admits that it is the sum of all her parts and all her physical imperfections that make her a rare find indeed.
Love, even when it (seemingly) isn’t perfect, it is.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all – Roisin.
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.