This ‘Forms of Love’ sonnet is dedicated to the Ancient Greek ‘pragma’: enduring love.
If Love is enduring, it remains strong over time. It is therefore in competition with time. This thought led to the idea of writing a sonnet in which Time (personified) attacks Love.
The fist quatrain depicts Time as both “vandal” defacing a monument and “mollusc” leaving trails on it. The second quatrain has Time as the creator of a chemical weapon; the third presents Time as a “tempest” smashing “incessant waves” onto the deck of “pleasure craft” Love.
The capping couplet declares Love’s victory over Time. Time does not diminish Love, it enriches it.
Time v Love Time targets Love with chisels and with nails: A vandal gouging grooves into smooth stone, Dull mollusc leaving slow-appearing trails – Wounds though they seem skin-deep cut to the bone. Time taints the air we breathe with toxicants That bloat the limbs, turn faces into masks Of gargoyles gross chewing on wasps and ants And swigging vinegar from mouldy casks. Time is a tempest; Love a pleasure craft That creaks and groans under incessant waves Of weeks and hours smashing fore and aft Hell-bent to send the crew to early graves. Yet Love’s no lost pilgrim in search of cures, As years pass by, like whiskey, it matures.