This ‘forms of love’ sonnet is inspired by pragma: enduring love. The opposite of enduring love is short-term selfishness.
This sonnet makes the case for pragma by presenting a grasping, flawed argument for short-term selfishness. The theme throughout the three quatrains is the need for stuff: fire, air, water and earth. (These were the pre-Socratic basic elements.)
The speaker argues for their need for these elements. In the first quatrain they state their needs. In the second quatrain they consider others’ desire for the same resources. In the third quatrain they ask why they should share them.
The capping couplet presents the counter-argument. Love. Greedy people feed themselves with stuff… but starve themselves of love.
Elements of Desire I am a fire who needs fuel to survive, I am a ship that sails Time’s stormy seas, A waterfall that roars to feel alive, A rigid oak stood proud of other trees. Yes there are other flames in need of wax Other schooners with rigging tough and sound A myriad of bright streams making tracks A forest of tall trees fixed to the ground. Why should I share the oil in short supply? Why should I share the winds that bloat my sails? I need a flood to sing a lullaby Without a mass of earth my grand trunk fails. Logic suggests I should grasp all I need But Love love’s empathy and abhors greed.