Second in my 2018 quest to memorize a poem each month is Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. I knew I wanted a love poem for February, and I felt a yen for sonnets — the most classic of them — so this ticks all boxes whilst simultaneously fulfilling a perennial desideratum to revisit Ang Lee’s Marianne Dashwood.
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 wand’ring 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 prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.