Love, as of now, attached to living flesh;
at end, all but fixed to an epitaph.
Love, as of now, tender, ever fresh;
at end, has refuge in a photograph.
What then, says this, of love’s enduring state:
love, so exposed, will weather and degrade?
What then, says this, of love’s most fragile state:
love, so exposed, will but wither and fade?
Surely love, at end, has a greater role:
love can not be fixed to paper or stone?
Surely love, at end, is spirit and soul:
love can not be to the elements thrown?
. Love, as of now, leaves a gape in thinking.
. Love’s fulfilment needs no earthly linking.
© Tim Grace, 25 August 2011
To the reader: Love in all its forms is an emotional transaction; an exchange of spiritual relationships. Being such, we all-too-clever humans have built ‘love’s transaction’ into a thriving economy. At every opportunity we translate love into a material possession that can be mined for treasures, bartered for business, and stolen for stealth. At death, we are then confronted with love’s material redundancy; paper fades and stone erodes… love endures.
To the poet: Half way through Shakespeare’s sonnets, it’s clear the writer’s having issues with fatigue. Love’s pen is flaccid. Whether, at this stage, he knew he was half-way through the collection is unknown; nonetheless, he was doubting the sharpness of his quill. It’s in this section of the Sonnets that the narrator is most exposed to his various demons: he confronts his virility and concedes his wilting wit; unable to write of fresh love in his once so youthful voice.