once upon a time

February 14, 2010

…i was fairly convinced i was a cynical person, even though i was all of 16. i was very scornful of all things relating to traditional ideas of romance (i thought romeo and juliet was stupid when i read it in the 9th grade, and i maintain this opinion; i would deliver diatribes against valentine’s day at the drop of a hat). in retrospect, i was not anywhere as cynical and worldly as i thought, and as the years have passed i’ve chilled out and become more accepting of society’s foibles (in some respects, anyway). i don’t generally celebrate valentine’s day, but i don’t get ragingly pissed off about it either. 

anyway, all this preamble is just to set up the one thing i did find romantic in those years:

Sonnet 130

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 damasked, 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

this, i thought, was real romance. i’d much rather someone love me for me than hold me up to some ridiculous standard. and i totally still believe that. this poem is kind of cliche at this point, but i love it anyway.

maybe someday i’ll tell you about the best date of my life, which coincidentally fell on valentine’s day.


One comment

  1. A good or great poem never becomes cliche. Only the (general) response to it– and yours is not.

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