Let me not to the marriage of true minds (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 prov’d,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

This sonnet of Shakespeare‘s is one of his best-known and best-loved, so I am not hoping to introduce you to something you do not already know. However, I thought you might enjoy its reading by ‘Spoken Word’.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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4 Responses to Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)

  1. lly1205 says:

    I have memorized this sonnet, I love it so much!

  2. Could you explain “Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.”?

    • layanglicana says:

      I hesitate, but here goes. This is one of those lines which makes perfect sense to me, but my sense may not be the same as your sense, and worse, may not be what the author intended.
      In a very literal way, I had a demonstration of this last year when almost every hospital visit seemed to involve not just weighing me, which I could understand, but also measuring my height!
      Toe me, it means that people measure each other, classify each other based on their prejudices (or knowledge of the world, depending on where you are standing). But these measures still fail to grasp someone’s worth.
      Possibly – and here it is stretching the point beyond a reasonable interpretation, I admit – it is rather like the existentialist’s difference between existence and essence??
      What is your explanation…?!

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