The L-word

Feb 14, 2013 By Steven R. Peck

On Valentine's Day, take Browning's advice and 'teach the world'

Some of the earliest surviving written narrative deals in love. From the ancients to the moderns, from the sonnets to rock and roll, no topic inspires, stymies and torments the creative writer more than love does.

On this Valentine's Day, our annual sampling:

My love is like a red, red rose,

That's newly sprung in June.

O, my love is like a melody,

That's sweetly played in tune.

-- Robert Burns (1787)

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love

that was more than love --

I and my Annabel Lee--

With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven

Coveted her and me.

-- Edgar Allan Poe (1849)

I shall love you in December

with the love I gave in May.

-- John Alexander Joyce (1842-1915)

We need love, and we wish to give it.

-- Liv Ullman (1976)

I more than love you. Love is an inadequate word. I leurrve you.

-- Woody Allen ("Annie Hall:" 1977)

Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;

Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

-- William Shakespeare ("Romeo and Juliet:" 1594)

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,

It's the only thing that there's just too little of.

-- Hal David (1965)

To know, know, know him

Is to love, love, love him,

And I do,

And I do.

-- Phil Spector and the Teddy Bears (1958)

When a man is in love he endures more than at other times;

he submits to everything.

-- Freidrich Neitzsche (1888)

Wise men say

only fools rush in,

but I can't help

falling in love with you.

-- Elvis Presley (1962)

Happy, thrice happy and more, are they whom an unbroken bond unites and whose love shall know no sundering quarrels so long as they shall live.

-- Horace (65-88 B.C.)

The pains of love be sweeter far

Than all the other pleasures are.

-- John Dryden (1669)

Waived all reward, loved but for loving's sake,

And what my heart taught me, I taught the world.

-- Robert Browning (1706)

Oh, when I was in love with you,

Then I was clean and brave,

And miles around the wonder grew

How well did I behave.

-- A.E. Housman (1896)

Apparently the topic never goes out of style.

So teach the world, and Happy Valentine's day.

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