Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Love, Commitment & Advertising

Well, I didn't think that I had anything to add to the bloggage burgeoning through the Internet regarding MiM's False Advertising post. I thought pretty much everything that could be said had already been said, and probably more cogently than I could do it.

But then I read a couple of things yesterday that made such interesting and elegant counterpoints. Unfortunately, I didn't write either of them.

The first bit is a poem* that was quoted in a novel I finished last night: How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, by Mameve Medwed (a fun light read, if you like skewering academia and stories about antiques):

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile - her look - her way
Of speaking gently, - for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day' -
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, - and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry, -
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love, through love's eternity.
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, sonnet 14, From the Portuguese

The other piece of writing - nearly as poetic, but prose instead of a 19th century poem - was Redneck Mother's post, especially the part about her Great-Aunt and Uncle. Although I do also really love her mother's quote:

"Marriage is not the goal," she said, briskly. "It's the person that matters. I love your father. The institution of marriage itself is bullshit."

In its own way, that's just as romantic as the sappy romance-era poem. I love it. And I'm glad that the guy who used to have nerdy glasses, a beard, and play the guitar when we moved in together twenty-three years ago feels the same way.

*You did know that April is National Poetry Month, right?


KCB said...

Wow, my mom in the company of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. That's pretty cool! And an excellent poem on the topic. Thanks for the shout-out!

portuguesa nova said...

Oooh...Redneck Mother took the words right out of my mouth.