Love me little, love me long

[Robert Herrick | 1591โ€“1674]

YOU say, to me-wards your affection’s strong;
Pray love me little, so you love me long.
Slowly goes far: the mean is best: desire,
Grown violent, does either die or tire.

||

Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song:
Love that is too hot and strong
Burneth soon to waste.
I am with little well content,
And a little from thee sent
Is enough, with true intent,
To be steadfast friend.
Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.

Say thou lov’st me while thou live,
I to thee my love will give,
Never dreaming to deceive
While that life endures:
Nay, and after death in sooth,
I to thee will keep my truth,
As now when in my May of youth,
This my love assures.
Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.

Constant love is moderate ever,
And it will through life persever,
Give to me that with true endeavor.
I will it restore:
A suit of durance let it be,
For all weathers, that for me,
For the land or for the sea,
Lasting evermore.

Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.

Of Love: A Sonnet

How love came in I do not know,
Whether by the eye, or ear, or no;
Or whether with the soul it came
(At first) infused with the same;
Whether in part โ€™tis here or there,
Or, like the soul, whole everywhere,
This troubles me: but I as well
As any other this can tell:
That when from hence she does depart
The outlet then is from the heart.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) was an English poet best known for Hesperides: Or, The Works Both Humane & Divine (1648), a book of poems. This includes the carpe diem poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.”

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

^ In the genre of carpe diem

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, by John William Waterhouse
‘Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May’ by British Pre-Raphaelite artist, John William Waterhouse (1909).

D H Lawrence

[English | 1885โ€“1930]

D H Lawrence is amongst the greatest figures of 20th c. English literature. Taken as a whole his work represents an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation.

Poet & a Painter (& a writer of Prose too)
Poet & a Painter (& a writer of Prose too)

In his poetry, prose and paintings, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality as well as human sexuality and instinct. At the time of his death in 1928 it was said that his public reputation was that of a pornographer and a wasted talent. Yet, as stated on the Portry Foundation’s website, E.M. Forster–think: Room with a View–begged to differ. In an obituary notice he went so far as to declare that Lawrence was, “the greatest imaginative novelist of [that] generation.”

One must learn to love, and go through a good deal of suffering to get to it, and the journey is always towards the other soul.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“Lady Constance Chatterley is trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who is impotent. Oppressed by her dreary life, she is drawn to Mellors the gamekeeper. Breaking out against the constraints of society she yields to her instinctive desire for him and discovers the transforming power of physical love which leads them both towards fulfilment.”

‘Connie was aware, however, of a growing restlessness…It thrilled inside her body, in her womb, somewhere, till she felt she must jump into water and swim to get away from it; a mad restlessness. It made her heart beat violently for no reason…’

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (๐Ÿ“™ read the book, pdf format) was first published privately in 1928 in Italy, and in 1929 in France–it was banned (forbidden/prohibited) in the U.K. Indeed, it wasn’t properly published in uncensored format in the U.K. until 1960. As Wikipedia say, the book’s publication only happened after an obscenity trial against the publisher Penguin Books was won by Penguin. After winning, in short order, Penguin sold 3 million copies. The book was/is notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working class man and an upper class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable (four-letter) words.

We fucked a flame into being.

โ€• D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Women in Love

Women in Love begins one blossoming spring day in England and ends with a terrible catastrophe in the snow of the Alps. Ursula and Gudrun are very different sisters who become entangled with two friends, Rupert and Gerald, who live in their hometown. The bonds between the couples quickly become intense and passionate but whether this passion is creative or destructive is unclear.

In this groundbreaking work–widely considered to be one of Lawrence’s best–he explores what it means to be human in an age of conflict and confusion.

The Rainbow

Like above, The Rainbow was considered controversial in its time due to its portrayal of how sexual desire, especially in women, can affect relationships. Not only was is banned in the U.K. for 11 years but 1,000 copies were ceremoniously burned.

The novel is set between the 1840s and the early years of the twentieth century and tells the story of three generations of the Brangwen family; by way of, “courting, pregnancy, marriage and defiance Lawrence explores love and the conflicts it brings.”

Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers was published in 1913 and–surprise, surprise–was initially considered to be obscenity. Today though it is regarded as a masterpiece by many critics and amongst Lawrence’s finest achievements.

In the novel, protagonist Paul Morel is the focus of his disappointed and fiercely protective mother’s life. Their tender, devoted and intense bond comes under strain when Paul falls in love with Miriam Leivers, a local girl his mother disapproves of. The arrival of the provocatively modern Clara Dawes causes further tension and Paul is torn between his individual desires and family allegiances.


๐Ÿ“™ Love Poems and Others

Love is never a fulfillment. Life is never a thing of continuous bliss. There is no paradise. Fight and laugh and feel bitter and feel bliss: and fight again. Fight, fight. That is life.

Kahlil Gibran

[Lebanese | 1883–1931]

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

Although Kahlil Gibran was born in Lebanon, he spent the last twenty years of his life in New York where, among other things, he ran a book club. By far his most famous work is The Prophet which has long been viewed as an inspirational and allegorical guide to living. First published in the 1920s, it speaks of many things central to daily life like beauty, passion love, marriage and death. It also covers the more mundane activities such as eating and working.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

^ Now, ain’t that so fucking true, you, my Secret Sharer, were indeed my most delectable of delights. Turning to another of Gibran’s sublime quotes, ain’t it so that true love can be a truly wicked game to have to play:

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.

Good god, I do Thank Nature for what we had but I do pray hard to Mother En that what we had was real. Wasn’t it? Was it all a figment of my godforsaken and troubled mind? Was it, ‘was it’ a case of the unloved captain and his imagined stowaway? Am I he and, were you all a creation of my delusion daydreaming?

Edmund Spenser

[English | 1553โ€“1599]

And all for love, and nothing for reward.

It's love that inspires
It’s love that inspires.

And he that strives to touch the stars, Oft stumbles at a straw.

Edmund Spenser was an English poet who is recognisef as one of the premier craftsmen of early Modern English verse. In fact, he is often considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.

I hate the day, because it lendeth light To see all things, but not my love to see

The Faerie Queene was the first epic in English and one of the most influential poems in the language for later poets from Milton to Tennyson. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united medieval romance and renaissance epic to expound the glory of the Virgin Queen. The poem recounts the quests of knights including Sir Guyon, Knight of Constance, who resists temptation, and Artegall, Knight of Justice, whose story alludes to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Composed as an overt moral and political allegory, The Faerie Queene, with its dramatic episodes of chivalry, pageantry and courtly love, is also a supreme work of atmosphere, colour and sensuous description.

Her angel’s face, As the great eye of heaven shined bright, And made a sunshine in the shady place.

Robert Frost

(American | 1874โ€“1963)

Natureโ€™s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafโ€™s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I had that gold, I held it and I possessed it. I erroneously took it for granted and now it’s gone. It’s gone but it can never be forgotten.

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.

What once was, no longer is. But I’ll dig ’til I die. I live for one more kiss; one more seismic shift.

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.

Robert Frost was an American poet and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes.
Arguably he is one of the greatest American poet of the 20th c. His 1916 poem, “The Road Not Taken,” is often read at graduation ceremonies across the United States.

6A69AE6E-B45D-410B-B09E-6F284EE29E3E

This may be one of the first poems we ever worked on together:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other soundโ€™s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Did we conclude it was a dream, a morbid dream about mortality? Oh J, what have I done, what possessed me to be so cavalier with the open book?