This is a poem we're reading for class:
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.
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXXX
It sounded terrible when I first read it, since you usually compare your love of someone to beautiful things like roses and sweet perfume, but then I kept reading it over and over. I realized that he says in the end that he cannot compare his love for her to anything because it is so rare! It's so romantic and different than other love poems. I guess I love it because it is the most realistic love poem I've ever read. I'm such a sap for chick flicks, love songs and poems, but I really love this one because it speaks about true beauty and they way really love is. Carl loves me for me, not because I'm tall and have blonde hair and blue eyes (ha. i am the complete opposite). This is how love really is. Shakespeare really understands love. By the way, I read somewhere that "reeks" is used differently in the Elizabethan era than it is now, where it is usually defined as "stinks." It's using it as emanating. Also, hair back then was referred to as "golden wires."
Here's a good definition of love by Shakespeare (sonnet cxvi):
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.
Last week we spoke of death. It made me realize how much I want to improve in myself and all the things that are worth more on focusing like spiritual learning verses academic learning. If I focus on the former, than the latter will come :)