Monday, August 17, 2009

Words That Speak to Me ...

The Shadow, By Edmund Blair Leighton

Over the weekend, I found some time to read from a book of famous quotations ("Familiar Quotations", By John Bartlett). This book was given to me by the parents of my best friend at the time, Mary, as a 'graduation' gift from junior high.

At the time of receiving this gift, I surveyed the massive volume (1,750 pages) and thought to myself: "Wow! That's a BIG book. Whatever am I going to do with it?"  I flipped through the pages "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" that day, barely understanding what I was attempting to read -- not so much the vocabulary as the wisdom and meaning of the verse contained within. Since that time, so very long ago --then with starry-wide eyes of innocent youth-- I have spent many enjoyable hours perusing, savoring and digesting this 'BIG book', tome.   Each year that I read from this treasured volume's pages, I seem to  come to a greater understanding of the wisdom, and more recently the wit and sense of humor, contained within its many pages.   It seems as if we've grown-up with one another, this big book and me, so to speak?  Though, perhaps I'm not quite as "starry-eyed" these days?  From the Bible and the Koran, to the early Greeks and Romans, Chaucer, Milton, Cervantes, Dante and Shakespeare, to wisdom our founding forefathers, and even Confucius:  this book contains a wealth of insight that is as relevant today, as the day that it was written not so seemingly long ago.

As I happened to be flipping carefully through my treasured book over the weekend, my fingers settled rather decisively upon a section containing the works of the wordsmith William Shakespeare. One of Shakespeare's more prominent sonnets, Sonnet 116, captured the attention of my aching heart. Shakespeare's words spoke especially to me at this particular time in my life and so here they are for you to share.  Perhaps this particular sonnet is a favorite of yours as well?

"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
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
Love alters not with his brief hours and
But bears it out even to the edge of
If this be error, and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. "

~William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

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