“All I have is my love of love, and love is not loving.”
~ David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
I can still hear the refrain of this song in my mind effortlessly; the plaintive sax, the spare, tinny vocals.
I listened to it several times a day the year I was 12 on a crappy little tape recorder—in the bathroom at my cousin’s house on Cape Cod, in my closet with the door locked at my own house in Medfield, Massachusetts—and then later, everywhere, on my Sony Walkman.
It was one of maybe five tapes that I had.
Of course, the pre-teen (now called, annoyingly, “tween”) and teen years are notorious for L.O.V.E., and I was as obsessed as anyone. I reflect on that agonizing time with fondness and gratitude—fondness for that early me in all her passionate awkward glory and gratitude that I will never be so pointlessly tortured again.
Following are a medley of the raddest quotes concerning love, each and every one of which I had memorized and mumbled compulsively like the hormonal lunatic that I was as I trudged from Algebra to the Grove—where we were allowed to smoke cigarettes on high school grounds, presumably to take the edge off of our insipid misery.
Hey man, it was the ’80’s.
“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.”
~ Shakespeare Sonnet 116
“There’s a club
If you’d like to go,
You could meet somebody
Who really loves you.
So you go and you stand on your own,
And you leave on your own,
And you go home
And you cry and you want to die.”
~ The Smiths “How Soon Is Now”
“Soul meets soul, on lovers’ lips.”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Paint a perfect picture
Bring to life a vision in one’s mind.
The beautiful ones always smash the picture,
Always, every time.”
~ Prince “The Beautiful Ones”
“Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dialer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is in the hour of your thoughts.”
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think upon me, and then my state,
Like to the lark at the break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my fate with kings.”
~ Shakespeare’s Sonnets
“Why is the bedroom so cold?
You’ve turned away on your side.
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry.
Yet there’s still this appeal
That we’ve kept through our lives.
But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.”
~ Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”
“I will take the sun into my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness.”
~ e.e. cummings
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise