Which lines of literature would win your heart?
We Egotists, in our infinite wisdom and our double X-chromosomes, selected this question with an eye towards waxing lyrical about two of our favorite subjects, books and romance. I thought it should be easy enough to answer. After all, I already know what music (yet another form of poetry) would completely do me in: Chopin, preferably a nocturne, though that etude in E could get the job done, too. Or the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto (I barely restrained myself from proposing marriage to the student who played it with our college orchestra). With my even greater love of literature, I should be able to pick a few lines that would win my love, right?
And yet I struggled to think of any romantic lines of poetry or literary declarations of love from my favorite books that I’d want to hear. But I’m not a great poetry lover, and so many of the romantic lines from books are so tied to their characters and contexts, that though they make me go all melty inside when I read them, they don’t have the same power outside their stories.
Thus, instead of the great trove of
sappy romantic sayings I expected to collect, I have just one.
As you wish.
Readers, you all know that it really means, “I love you.” And that’s just it. It doesn’t matter so much what Beloved says, but what he means. I don’t really want to be wooed in the words of Beren or Faramir or Romeo. In the wisdom of Bollywood, “Beloved, you are different.” While there’s nothing wrong in employing the words of the great authors (I assure you, I’ll still appreciate it), I really think I most want to hear it in words that are Beloved’s own, and which may not mean “I love you” to anybody but me. And then, because actions speak louder than words, I’ll bowl him down a hill.