Personification 2: Love is a Fool

Love isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes we imagine it is reciprocated… when it isn’t. Even worse, we can be deceived. We can believe someone loves us when their true agenda exploitative. In this sonnet I personify false love as the conjurer – the character that intends to mislead. (Loki if you likie.)

Sonnets thrive on words that are spelt and/or sound the same but have different meanings: homonyms and homophones. Having such a word in a heading is like a springboard that lets a vaulter rise higher and do more tricks. I start with the dual meaning of ‘fool’ being both someone who is stupid and someone who does the fooling. The heading might suggest that Love is stupid; the sonnet rapidly asserts the other meaning. But, as is always the case with homonyms and homophones, the other sense is never truly discarded.

After establishing Love as the Shakespearian fool (the jester who is also knowing), I develop the character of duplicitous Love in the poem by adding further, more insidious, descriptions. The Love that begins as a (possibly foolish) clown, becomes an enchanter, a hypnotist and a spiritual parasitoid.

Love is a Fool 
Love is a fool with bells tied to its hat
That dances drunk to desperado drums:
Brash beats that bowl our senses’ fences flat,
Confounding booms that shatter walls to crumbs.
Path made, the fool skips barricades laid low –
Conniving clown to need such bombardments;
Distractions that appear to please but sow
Infected seeds of future punishments.
The trickster next scoops you up in its arms;
Emblazoned sleeves of an enchanter’s cloak
Adorned with glinting jewels and fancy charms
That hypnotise till you become the joke.
	Once gripped you’ll wither feebly to a ghost,
	Unless you spot the fraud of your false host.

2 comments

    1. Thank you Craig. On both counts. I now understand the difference between ‘lain’ and ‘laid’ and have corrected the sonnet. For those who are interested in the difference, ‘lain’ is the past participle of the verb ‘lie’ which means ‘to adopt or assume a horizontal position’ whereas ‘laid’ is the past participle of ‘lay’ which means ‘to put or set down’.

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