Saturday Shakespeare Blogging

My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lip's red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun,
If hair be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
In some perfumes there is more delight
Than the breath with which my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
Music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

The Bard is loved for many reasons, none of which I would ever seek to contradict, and yet I’m most drawn to his ability to find grace and beauty in imperfections, in flaws. I love scars and wrinkles, even as they’ve started to pile up on my own skin, because each tells a story, and our stories are what make us who we are. Shakespeare knew this. He knew people so well, and he loved them wholly, strange and difficult and complex creatures that they are, which is why his work holds up so extraordinarily after all this time. It’s not always easy to be someone who loves people, who can’t help but eavesdrop on conversations and make oneself invisible whenever possible because watching, unnoticed, is the best perspective. It leaves one uniquely perceptive, which can break down walls and create barriers in equal measure, and inevitably leads one to search tirelessly for connections with similarly constructed folks, connections that feel like the closest thing to perfection any person can experience, but so despairingly elusive, forged as they are between invisible people.

The life of a lover of people is filled with both great joy and great disappointment, the capacity to love beyond measure and a lingering melancholy that cannot be shaken, nor understood by anyone who stands outside the experience, as most do. It’s why Shakespeare could write both comedies and tragedies with such acumen, and why his work was always, even in his time, more easily known than he was.

(Back to politics shortly, I promise.)

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