Yes, I am taking advantage of National Poetry Month to post more frequently. Nothing like the inspirational value of having a pre-determined subject!
Today’s poem is one of those ones that’s been over-used to the point of making most audiences indulge in a collective eye-roll. That said, I happen to love it. I’m a hopeless romantic with a high tolerance for soppy sentiment. This sonnet was used to remarkable effect in the wonderful mid-90s film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, starring Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and the wonderfully over-the-top Kate Winslet as the equally over-the-top Marianne Dashwood.
So here it is, one of the most famous of Shakespeare’s sonnets. I’d like to encourage all readers to read the lines aloud. I find Shakespeare’s poems, as well as his plays (obviously) work better when spoken.
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 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.
A brief paraphrase and analysis may be found here.