Conversation in a Café Near the Corner
What happened? Let me not.
The marriage of two minds admits impediments.
True, and love is not love.
Which alters? When does alteration find?
I bend with the remover.
To remove? Oh no.
It is a never inked-in mark.
Look, in “The Tempest”…
I am not shaken. I want to be a star, like every
other dog and bark.
Their worth’s unknown, your height’s been taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, as long as at the end
you only count the love that still has traces.
It’s true love alters a lot even in hours and weeks,
but it returns at night to embrace at the edge of doom.
I suppose you’re right.
If not, I never said all the above…
…and no one yet has ever lived in love.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
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 wandering 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 proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
ContributorJennifer Michael Hecht
JENNIFER MICHAEL HECHT is a poet and an intellectual historian. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Who Said, with Copper Canyon. Her first book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and Funny won the University of Wisconsin Felix Pollak Award. Her four books in history and philosophy include Doubt, a history of religious and philosophical doubt all over the world, throughout history, and most recently, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It, with Yale. She has been a professor of history and poetry and lectures widely.