"Love... is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark."
-- Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
Camellias at Robinson Gardens
With Valentine's Day coming up I couldn't resist going to the beautiful Virginia Robinson Gardens to hear a lecture on Shakespeare's Sonnets. After all, the sonnets may be the most beautiful and famous meditations on love ever written. In his excellent discussion the lecturer compared the formality of the sonnet to the formality of French gardens during Shakespeare's time.
Since I was in one of the most beautiful gardens in Los Angeles I decided to take a walk after the lecture to see what was in bloom. Tim Lindsay, executive director of Robinson Gardens, told me not to miss the camellias. He was right, they are magnificent.
Gardens and Shakespeare -- a winning combination to provide inspiration for Valentine's Day. And isn't this the perfect Shakespearean sonnet for your Valentine?
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." -- Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
Here's to a Valentine's Day of love, flowers and poetry.
Happy Valentine's Day!