Prometheus Bound Books

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Words from the Heart

by Sue Williams
13 January 2013

A retailer’s delight or the right moment to make that meaningful statement to someone you love? It’s certainly true that retailers will take 14th February as an opportunity to introduce and promote almost anything that could possibly be regarded as a “love token” and shops abound with re-packaged articles, elaborate cards and numerous items carrying a heart design.

Most of us find it difficult to articulate passion, love and desire; the inability to communicate strong emotion is a universal problem and it is in order to find the answer to this – to find the right words – that we look for gifts that express, through image or association, the feelings that we want, so badly, to convey. The marketing slogan for a gift of flowers suggests that they can stand in the place of words but why not use words themselves to speak for you?

Literature and poetry abound with hauntingly beautiful messages of love for those you love, miss, desire – there are eloquent words available for any and every type of relationship. In poetry Romeo and Juliet offers “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep” and 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”. From literature “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope” (Persuasion); “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.” (Les Miserables); “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” (Wuthering Heights) and so many more from all genres of writing. So is the answer perhaps to give a gift of words in which each line is filled with love? Perhaps a hand bound book with the lines that mean most to you inscribed within or even embossed on the cover? Poetry, love letters, great literature – all contain words that are meant – written from the heart, not redolent of commerce. As John Donne said “More than kisses, letters mingle souls”. More than four hundred years later this is still as true.

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