Monday, February 14, 2011

How Do I Love Thee?

Here I am looking at Valentine's Day and seeing how differently we all approach love.  Love is not an easily described emotion and can range from the sweetest friendship to the most passionate love affair.  Love can point to love for self, but is best expressed in love for others on a day like today. 

Realizing that Valentine's is usually a day for candy and flowers to reign supreme in the high school I teach at, I prepared to teach sonnets.  Here's a quick reminder about sonnets:
  • Sonnets are 14 lines of poetry
  • Written in iambic pentameter (stressed syllable followed by an unstressed)  
  • There are two main types of sonnets, the Italian (or the Petrarchan) and the Shakespearean (or English).  
  • Sonnets tend to be about themes like love, religion, or politics. 
Together, we read Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous "How Do I Love Thee?"--Sonnet 43, addressing things like tone, literary devices, etc.  We then followed it with Shakespeare's beautiful Sonnet 116 that has been immortalized in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. In searching out the clip on YouTube, I also ran across a beautiful montage that has been adapted from this same sonnet.  Both are beautiful and now have me thinking more about types of love.  While most expressions of love seem to be aimed at "romance," I do think that both of these sonnets speak about lovely ideals that make love lasting, to endure the challenges life bears.

The first clip is the scene from Sense and Sensibility, and the second is that lovely montage that includes Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and North and South.  Enjoy!

This was actually a very nice Valentine's Day.  How was your day?

1 comment:

  1. I love Valentine's Day! It's my favorite holiday.

    I'm disappointed you didn't include Alan Rickman reading poetry from S&S!