My gift to you on this Friday evening is a poem from arguably the most beloved poet of all time. William Shakespeare needs no introduction, nor does today’s poem in the spotlight: “Sonnet 116.”
“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.”
Sonnet 116 is one of the most quoted and loved poems of all time and for good reason. It has captured so marvelously the definition of a love worth having. It is steady and unchanging. It is a path, once chosen, that has no bends, but is constant. It should be the thing that any wandering soul can look to for guidance and find unmoveable. It outlasts time itself, because those who have found it are unwilling to let it go. It is invaluable… Shakespeare believed this to be a truth to the point of comparing it to the reality of his words and any love ever had.