Maybe I am going a little nuts on the love theme this year. I think I get until Valentine's Day and then I have to cut it out. I can't really help it though, I come to work and the place is all decked out in pink and red and there's giant heart lollipops placed on romantic tables set for two, there's handcrafted valentine boxes with ribbons around it and little packages of writing paper encouraging you to put all your pensées d'amour down in writing. It's always romantic here and anyways, as Saul Bellow pointed out:
"Here we write well when we expose frauds and hypocrites. We are great at counting warts and blemishes and weighing feet of clay. In expressing love, we belong among the undeveloped countries."
Alors, I bring you John Keats - (I know yesterday I said I thought of him more for his musings on beauty than on love, but that was before I broke into his love letters to Fanny Brawn:
To Fanny Brawne:
I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my life seems to stop there - I see no further. You have absorb'd me.
I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving ...I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my religion - love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet - you have ravish'd me away by a power I cannot resist.
- John Keats
snippets from another longer letter to Fanny:
"I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment - upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses."
And how could I leave out the French? This one, mes amis, is a little on the racy side. It's a good thing these two were already married. I probably would have stayed away from this guy thinking him a little too amped up.
August 15, 1846
I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports...When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.
Gustave Flaubert, to his wife Louise Colet.
Hopefully, this gets the juices flowing and we can all prove Saul Bellow wrong. Let us expound on love! Or as Carl Sandburg said:
"Let joy kill you! keep away from the little deaths."