Know, sweet love, I always write of you

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing a lot of new fiction and sending old and new fiction out to a lot of places.  I keep thinking about my  blog, and how much I love writing it and how lucky I am to know all the interesting and fun and smart and kind people who come over here and say stuff.  But I haven’t posted, even though I have a series of great interviews to put up (Ingrid, the girl in the cafe is next, and then Lisa Alber and then Debbie Freedman…), which I’ll do this week.  Mostly, that’s because every time I go to write something here, I think to myself that I always seem to write about the same things.  That’s true of my fiction too. 

And then I found this sonnet, one I’ve not read before, and it made me realize that it’s okay to write, over and over again, about the things that matter to us.  It was okay for Shakespeare to do.  And it is okay for me too:

SONNET 76

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.

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9 thoughts on “Know, sweet love, I always write of you

  1. Wow, I love this sonnet–and love that you posted it. Because I was having myself a little semi-crisis thinking the exact same thing about MY work, that it’s always about the same thing. But (head smacking sound here) of COURSE it is! It’s the thing we’re trying to solve or to know truly and deeply. And you’re right: if it’s all right for Shakespeare, it’s all right for us, too. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Of course, this is the way it is. Every writer has only one book, one story, and the struggle is to find a way of telling it perfectly. But there is no sweeter way of telling it but in this sonnet. Thank you.

  3. Wow indeed! It’s oft been said I know but that boy could really write!

    Glad to have you back and to hear that your own writing is going well.

  4. it’s hard to make a blog feel “fresh,” isn’t it? I often feel like I write the same thing over and over and over again…but when I think about the blogs I return to every few days to read (like yours!) I think I return not only because I feel like I know you, and like you, but to learn about the ongoing struggle that holds up your narrative. Of course it’s going to be some of the same themes…it wouldn’t be a great arc of writing if there weren’t!

  5. I have been struggling with the same feeling this month. I feel like I write the same things over and over, and yet, no one complains and if I take a look at my blog that is not true. I think about writing the same things, but I don’t actually. Perhaps that is true for you as well. I never feel like I am reading the same thing when I come here.

  6. Hello Ms. HMH, I think you just have to write what you want to write and not worry about the rest of it. I haven’t re-read much of my blog, and I think that might be sort of interesting and fun. Maybe I’ll do that.

    Hey Courtney, yes, there is indeed the ongoing struggle to get someone to take one of my stories and to get writing done and to raise children and be a decent person. I wish it was fiction though — then I’d know a little better how it all comes out!

    Dear Lokesh, yes, that it beautiful. The phrase “sweet love” is one that really gets to me.

    John, You never do nail that one way, or at least you can’t be sure you have. And that’s good — because there are an infinite number of ways to say what you need to and it’s a lot of fun, not to mention a huge undertaking, to get to do that.

    It is the “slightly shifted” part that is interesting, OP. I think it’s interesting and useful to look back, isn’t it?

    Dear Sandi, You’re most welcome. I love this sonnet. It’s about writing, and about love, two topics that’re rich and interesting.

  7. Hi Bloglily, glad you’re back! I’ve thought about this alot–that I come back to the same themes in my writing. I find it interesting, actually. I worry more about my blog getting boring with the same themes, though. At least in fiction, I’m exploring different characters, but the blog is all me. Yikes!

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