Sunday, January 10, 2010

Words of Love Challenge

I was so delighted by the response to the first “O, JULIET Love Games Giveaway,” not just because so many readers entered, but because everyone who did enter put some real feeling – real heart – into their comments. The question I posed was “What are the qualities in a lover that are most important to you?” The answers ranged from poetic to practical. One woman was hoping for a lover who could sing. The hands-down winners in the qualities department (mentioned the most) were honesty, fidelity and a good sense of humor. There's still one more week for you to enter for the Thai silver necklace.

This week, in order to win the lovely hand-blown glass heart necklace pictured above, I’m going to ask that instead of searching your own heart for gems of wisdom about love and what it means to you, you find your favorite love quotation from literature, poetry or song and share it with me.

No other subject has been written about so frequently in all of our history as love. From biblical times:

“This is my beloved and this is my friend.” Song of Solomon

From ancient times:

“He is not a lover who does not love forever.” Euripides

I open O, JULIET with Shakespeare’s famous quote from “Romeo and Juliet.”

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite

There are well-known homilies:

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Alfred Tennyson

Lines from songs:

“All you need is love.”John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Ones that impart wisdom:

“Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.”Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”Sir Arthur Pinero

“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich

Ones that are clever:

Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”Franklin P. Jones

“Do you love me because I'm beautiful, 
or am I am beautiful because you love me?Oscar Hammerstein, II

Ones that are humorous and even cynical:

“Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage.”Ambrose Bierce

Love is a thing that can never go wrong; And I am Marie of Romania.” – Dorothy Parker,

“Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.”Woody Allen

To enter for the blown glass heart, share a favorite quotation about love. The challenge is that there can be no duplicates! What I’m hoping is that during this process you can experience one of my favorite parts of writing – research. There are countless sites to be googled under “love quotations,” and they’re filled with fabulous wisdom. I had so much fun reading them and choosing my favorites, and I was endlessly surprised. So enjoy this challenge and get a literary education about love.

I’ll also need your email address to complete the entry.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Lots of love,


  1. This is the last stanza of a poem by Nikki Giovanni which we used in our wedding 13 years still remains one of my favorites:

    I will never miss you
    because of what we do
    but what we are


  2. I´m studying now the poetry of Sir Philip Sidney and suddenly I find this fascinating love sonnet named "My true love hath my heart". I would like to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it!

    My true love hath my heart and I have his.
    By just exchange one for the other given:
    I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
    There never was a bargain better driven.
    My true love hath my heart and I have his.

    His heart in me keeps him and me in one;
    My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
    He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
    I cherish his because in me it bides.
    My true love hath my heart and I have his.

    Best regards from Spain,

    Lady Caroline

  3. This is my favorite love poem by the American poet, E.E. Cummings (who wrote all his poems in lowercase):

    i carry your heart by e.e. cummings

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


  4. The minute I saw something about a quotation about love I immediately tho't of Elizabeth and Robert Browning. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."

  5. I like Jerome K Jerome's words on love:-

    "Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it."

  6. I came across this when I was in my early teens and I have been memorized by it ever since. Now that I become obsessed with historical fiction the only people that come to my mind when I think of this is Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley.

    215 The Suffering Heart

    No, no, poor suffering heart, no change endeavor;
    Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her.
    My ravished eyes behold such charms about her,
    I can die with her, but not live without her.
    One tender sigh of hers, to see me languish,
    Will more than pay the price of my past anguish.
    Beware, O cruel fair, how you smile on me,
    'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

    Love has in store for me one happy minute,
    And she will end my pain who did begin it;
    Then, no day void of bliss or pleasure leaving,
    Ages shall slide away with out perceiving:
    Cupid shall guard the door, the more to please us,
    And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:
    Time and Death shall depart, and say, in flying,
    Love has found out a way to live by dying.

    John Dryden

  7. I do not know what my problem is but I kep forgetting my email here.

  8. Here's one of my favorites:

    Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. (Franklin P. Jones)

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

  9. To this day, when my husband wants to tell me he loves me at the same time he's granting me a request, he looks intently into my eyes and makes a direct quote (intentionally) from the movie The Princess Bride:

    "As you wish..."

    It's not classic literature, but it's a favorite of ours. He always gets a blush out of me with that one. I have my own Westley for sure...

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic
    CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

  10. Elivis Presley:
    "Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go."
    His soulful, melodic singing of that line makes me swoon.

    Thank you for the giveaway, Robin!
    MarieBurton2004 at

  11. When my husband I got married he picked our wedding song. It was by Anne Murray and he sang to me as we danced:

    "Can I have this dance for the rest of my life, will you be my partner every night."

    That was 28 years ago.

    What better way to express his love?

    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  12. "Love is friendship on fire." This has been my experience, and there is nothing like it. It's rare, but you know it when you find it, or it finds you.

    Quoted by Jeremy Taylor--clergyman in the church of England, author during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, sometimes known as the "Shakespeare of Divines" for his poetic style of writing. Chaplain in ordinary to King Charles I.

    kimbaldwin74 at yahoo dot com

  13. This one little gem was lost for me amid Helena's love sick ramblings in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then I read it on a piece of paper wrapped up with an Italian chocolate and I realised how powerful and true that one single line was when said alone.

    "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind" - William Shakespeare

    Incidentally, the chocolate was a Baci by the company Perugina. Hazelnut filled chocolate kisses, each wrapped with a tiny love note. The Italians are so good at this sort of thing.

    sentstarr at blueyonder dot co dot uk

  14. 'What I am saying, dear friend, is this: that all I have is yours: money, life, service - everything! - and that I would consider myself the happiest of men even if I had to pour out my blood for your preservation.'
    (spoken by Robert Dudley to Elizabeth - from the novel 'Virgin and the Crab')

  15. Heartbreak is always associated with love, so I'll type this

    What hurts the most
    Was being so close
    And havin' so much to say
    And watchin' you walk away

    And never knowin'
    What could've been
    And not seein' that lovin' you
    Is what I was tryin' to do

  16. This song isn't very lovey-dovey but it reminds me of my boyfriend whom I love very much. This line kind of sums up the beginning of our relationship a couple years ago.

    "What if it was you...
    You that I needed all along?
    I felt like a fool,
    kicking and screaming and pretending we were wrong."
    -It Had To Be You by Motion City Soundtrack

    Thanks again for the giveaway!

  17. Well, I'm nineteen and I'm not married yet! Most girls my age meet all kinds of boys, fall head over heels for someone and then discover you weren't meant to be. Well I think that everything happens for a reason and even if you're heartbroken because of a previous love you discover that destiny will lead you to your true love... you don't have to be forcing situations or stuff... Like the quote from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:

    Trip no further pretty sweeting,
    journey's end in lovers meeting.

    It spoke to me :)

  18. This has been a favorite of mine for years...

    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

    Helen Keller

    bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

  19. "Our Irish blunders are never blunders of the heart."
    Maria Edeworth. She was born on January 1, 1767 and is one of the few women literary figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

  20. What comes from the heart, touches the heart.
    Don Sibet
    Love this one!


  21. I can't say that I have a favorite love quote. If I do, I can't think of it a the moment.

    I do adore Jane Austen so here's a little something from her:

    "Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then."

    And a little something from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride:

    "Death can not stop true love, it can only delay it for a little while."

  22. From Sonnet XX,

    "Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
    And by addition me of thee defeated,
    By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
    But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
    Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure."

    A great quote about a love that cannot be.

  23. This is the last lines of "Valiant" by Holly Black

    "I would remain nearer you for what time there is"
    "gone in a faerie sigh" she quoted
    Leather clad fingers brushed over her short hair, rested on her cheek
    "I can hold my breath"

  24. I've won!

    Here is the reason why: both my husband and I sat and cried buckets watching the movie version of this terrific book. If something touches both a man and a woman, perhaps a toilet seat at attention makes little difference in the grand scheme. Here is my quote from "The Notebook:"

    Noah: "I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough."

  25. From one of my favorite authors and coincidentally, one of favorite books....The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    "Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love; it is the faithless who know love's tragedies."

    I don't know that one can really know love until one loses love.

  26. I am so touched by everyone's entries. It feels like nobody had to go searching for their favorite quote about love. They were just waiting for someone to ask about it.

  27. cool contest! Mines from the song elenor:
    I really think you're groovy, lets go out to a movie, what do you say now,
    elenor can we?

  28. I love the words to "Fields of Gold" by Sting:

    So she took her love
    For to gaze awhile
    Upon the fields of barley
    In his arms she fell as her hair came down
    Among the fields of gold


  29. This isn't an entry -- I just wanted to say i love your blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed your love quotes!

  30. Great contest I love the necklace!

    Some favorite of mine:

    Love is like war: easy to begin, hard to end.

    lovers alone wear sunlight
    -E. E. Cummings

    Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.
    -Charlie Brown

    There is no remedy for love but to love more.
    -Henry David Thoreau

    Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
    -Matt Groening


  31. Here's a few that I show the haunting side of love.

    O Brahma, guard in sleep
    The merry lambs and the compacent kine,
    The flies below the leaves, and the young mice
    In the tree roots, and all the sacred flocks
    Of red flamingoes; and my love, Vijaya;
    And may no restless fey with fidget finger
    Trouble his sleeping: give him dreams of me
    -W.B. Yeats

    If each day,
    Each hour,
    You feel that you are destined for me,
    With implacable sweetness,
    If each day a flower
    Climbs up to your lips to seek me,
    Ah, my love, ah my own,
    In me all that fire is repeated,
    In me nothing is extinguished or forgotton,
    My love feeds on your love, beloved,
    And as long as you live it will be in your arms
    Without leaving mine
    -Pablo Neruda

  32. Shakespeare's Love Sonnet 116 (my all time favourite)

    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.

    knittingmomof3 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  33. "Always Blessings, Never Regrets"
    I don't know who said this but a woman who lost her child said she lived by this quote and it got her through all her bad times. Now I try to live by these words too. Remember all the blessings, don't have any regrets.

    clenna at aol dot com

  34. I don't know of many, but I think this one is quite true...

    Look not for beauty
    Nor whiteness of skin
    But look for the heart
    That is loyal within

    For beauty may fade
    And white skin grow old
    But the heart that is loyal
    Will never grow cold

    - Marie Davis -

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  35. A favorite from Emily Bronte:

    "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."


  36. When I was a graduate student, I entered the following classified as a surprise for my wife on Valentine's day in our (small) town's daily paper. The paper refused to print it without a translation. It's in old French, and I did my best to translate it. She was in the French department, and as you can tell, I was not.

    Je suis aymé de la plus belle,
    Qui soit vivant dessoubz les Cieulx.
    Encontre tous faulx Envieulx
    Je la soustiendray estre telle.

    Venus, la Deesse immortelle,
    Tu as faict mon cueur bien heureux
    De l'avoir faict estre amoureux
    D'une si noble Damoyselle.
    Clément Marot

    I am loved by the most beautiful one,
    Who is living beneath the Heavens.
    Against the wrongly Envious
    I will uphold her to be such.

    Venus, immortal Goddess,
    You have filled my heart with happiness
    By having made me the lover Of so fine a Woman.

  37. I did have to search a bit, but I actually like research.

    Here it is, short and to the point...

    "To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage." -- Lao Tzu

    I think it is beautiful.
    Elie N

  38. There's been so much written about love. I think at some time we've all written something. I chose a simple piece of my own entitled, A Toast to Marriage. It's published in Wedding Blessings compiled by June Cotner.

    May you love each other
    as husband and wife.
    Be best of friends for the rest of your life.
    Support one another
    in good times and strife.
    Hold hands, hearts
    and laugh with delight.

    Benita Glickman

  39. All of these entries just make my heart sing! For any of you, like Benita (just above) who have written in your own love poetry, I encourage you to enter the "O, JULIET Love Poetry Competition." It will be announced this coming Monday (January 18th) in my newsletter and right here on this blog. Keep the quotes coming! There's still a week to go.

  40. Hello, I found the quote below in a novel I'm reading called "Beneath a Marble Sky." The novel is about the love story behind the Taj Mahal. Here is the quote....
    "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere, they're in each other all along."


  41. One of my favourites is from Sarah Dessen's book The Truth about Forever:

    "There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."

  42. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

    journey through books @ gmail dot com

  43. "Love is just a word
    till someone you meet
    gives it a meaning."

    aikychien at yaho dot com

  44. here's one of my all-time favorite quotes from Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon:

    then amorous kisses dwell
    on our lips, begin and tell
    a thousand and a hundred score
    a hundred and a thousand more

    vvb32 at

  45. "Kiss me and you will see stars; love me and I will give them to you."

    Chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

  46. Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. ~Jean Anouilh[@]gmail[.]com

  47. I say love, it is a flower
    and you, it's only seed

    It's the heart, afraid of breaking
    That never, learns to dance
    It's the dream, afraid of waking
    That never, takes the chance
    It's the one, who won't be taken
    Who cannot, seem to give
    and the soul, afraid of dying, that never learns to live

    Just remember, in the winter
    Far beneath, the bitter snow
    Lies the seed, that with the sun's love
    In the spring, becomes the rose

    "The Rose" sung by many, never fails to pull at my heart strings and bring a tear or two to my eyes.

    Hello Robin I have just discovered your blog, I really enjoy your books and am looking forward to the release of O, Juliet.

    I have had fun reading all of the "love" comments here :-), what a wonderful idea. Kathy.

  48. This is my favorite poetry from Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

    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 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 a 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 but love thee better after death.

    Call me a romantic but I believe love is timeless.

  49. This has always been a tragic and beautiful.
    The shackles of an old love straitn'd him,
    his honor rooted in dishonor stood,
    and faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
    Lancelot & Elaine

  50. This is kind of long. It's from St. Augustine, and I think it should be read by every couple who fancy themselves "in love."
    "Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
    -St. Augustine

  51. This is just getting better and better. Some of these quote bring me to tears. Some are familiar and I'm glad to be reminded of them. Some are new to me but, like the one above (about long-lasting love, that I can really relate to) have become instant favorites. More, more!

  52. I'm entering this for a reader who sent it to my website.

    Dana, quoting Emma Goldman, said...

    "Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere."

  53. Hi,
    This is my latest favorite.


    Is the great work
    Though every heart is first an

    That slaves beneath the city of Light.

    This wondrous trade,
    This magnificent throne your soul
    Is destined for-

    You should not have to think
    Much about it,

    Is it not clear
    An apprentice needs a teacher
    Who himself

    Has charmed the universe
    To reveal its wonders inside his cup.

    Happiness is the great work,
    Though every heart must first become
    A student

    To one
    Who really knows
    About Love.

    ~ Hafiz ~

    (The Gift -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)


  54. I had a minute to search for my favorite quote...I know, I know. I should KNOW my favorite, but I'm ever so much older now :-)

    "I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes,-and the stars through his soul."

    -Victor Hugo

    (cathyhall55 at hotmail dot com)

  55. This is my favorite:

    "I'm not asking you to forgive me. I'll never understand or forgive myself. And if a bullet gets me, so help me, I'll laugh at myself for being an idiot. There's one thing I do know... and that is that I love you, Scarlett. In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we're alike. Bad lots, both of us. Selfish and shrewd. But able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names. "

    -Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind

  56. Edna St.Vincent Millay - my favorite 20th century poet. The following are lines from "To the Not Impossible Him". She is so real. I have always thought of her as a romantic cynic.

    The fabric of my faithful love
    No power shall dim or ravel
    Whilst I stay here, - but oh, my dear,
    If I should ever travel!

  57. I really love this whole sonnet, but I'll pick a specific part...

    "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way

    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hnd,
    so close that your and eyes close as I fall asleep."

    -Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

    book.splot @

  58. I offer one of my very favorite Broadway songs, this from Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot":

    How to handle a woman?
    "There's a way," said a wise old man.
    "A way known by every woman since the whole rigmarole began."
    Do I flatter her? I begged him answer.
    Do I threaten or cajole or plead?
    Do I brood or play the gay romancer?
    Said he, smiling, "No, no indeed. How to handle a woman? Mark me well, I will tell you sir. The way to handle a woman is to love her. Simply love her. Merely love her. Love her. Love her."

  59. How I feel about love and being in love can be summed up by a simple poem I wrote over 20 years which I've tweaked and played with over the years. Here is the latest version:

    In Life,
    I am a young oak.
    My roots firmly grounded, I stand tall and proud,
    Strongly maturing upward,
    Weathering storms,
    Fighting elements,
    Reaching higher evermore.

    In Love,
    I transform into a tumbleweed.
    Defenseless against the slightest wind,
    I crumble to dust.

    © 2010 Michele Truhlik

  60. "Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts." I just love this quote. It's from the original movie version of Yours, Mine and Ours from 1968, starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. Henry Fonda is the new step-dad to Lucille's 8 children, and he brought 10 children of his own into their marriage! He says the above words to one of his teenage step-daughters when she talks to him about her boyfriend pressuring her to have sex. I just think they are such beautiful, meaningful words coming from a man who knows and understands what real love is!
    (By the way, Robin...I left you a comment just moments ago on a different entry, about my problem trying to post here....well, I obviously have been able to! I don't know what the heck was going computer must've had a nightmare for an hour or so! Thank you for your contest. It's been fun finding you from one of my blog friends!

  61. Oh my, I've just had tears running down my cheeks reading these. Words are so beautiful and powerful - that's why I don't understand people who don't read books; look what they're missing out on.

    I thought about this and one that really touches me is:

    "Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
    Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
    Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
    They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same."

    ~ by Flavia Weedn ~

    I just love that - the little moments that change the way you see the world. The people that touch your life without them even being aware of it.

    Thanks for the giveaway - the book looks lovely and the necklace is gorgeous. My email is:

    bexxxb (at) googlemail (dot) com

  62. This is a great one:
    "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out."
    --Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com