Variations on the theme of love are everywhere and bountiful. Take a look at the following:
“Love is a many-splendored thing/ It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring/ Love is nature’s way of giving/ A reason to be living the crown that makes a man a king…” So goes the 1955 Academy Award song originally recorded by The Four Aces, an all American male traditional pop music quartet.
“Where do I begin/ To tell the story of how great a love can be/ The sweet love story that is older than the sea/ The simple truth about the love she brings to me/ Where do I start…” Excerpt from the 1970 Academy Award song Love Story, the original musical score of the award- winning movie of the same title starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. Out of the movie, based on the best-selling romantic novel by Erich Segal, came one of the top movie quotes, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Last year, my son Andrew gave me books on my birthday. One of them was 100 Best-Loved Poems. In it was this famous Sonnet XLIII by English female poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861).
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways./ I love thee to the depth and breadth and height/ My soul can reach when feeling out of sight/ For the ends of Being and ideal Grace/ I love thee to the level of everyday’s /Most quiet need, by the sun and candle-light./ I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;/ I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise./ I love thee with the passion put to use/ In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith./ I love thee with a love I seemed to lose/ With my lost saints,---I love thee with the breath,/ Smiles, tears, of all my life!---and if God choose,/ I shall love but thee better after death.” What a beautiful manifestation and declaration of Elizabeth’s love for her husband-poet Robert...that’s so sublime!
During wedding ceremonies, in church or in court, this famous quote from the Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, is a favorite: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs...It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Yes, Love reigns supreme.
The Beatles performed the popular song “All You Need is Love.”
“Love, love, love...There’s nothing you can’t do that can be done./ Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung./ Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game./ It’s easy...All you need is love/ All you need is love/ All you need is love, love/ Love is all you need…”
Here are my love thoughts: “Love is...an intellectual experience as well as a spiritual heritage./ an emotional crisis as well a biological hunger./ a magnet that draws people for mutual happiness./ only for a moment or for life!”
And from “An Act of Love”...forget yourself/ think of others/ share what you have/ and you’ll get well./ To the desperate, give your heart/ your enemies, never to hurt/ to them be faithful and true/ as He is true to you!”
Keep doing simple acts of love. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
-CHRIS A. QUILPA, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Appeared in the Opinion page of the award-winning Suffolk News-Herald, Saturday, February 14, 2015. For more information, visit www.suffolknewsherald.com