It's hard to describe what love feels like - partly because it has so many different facets. These memorable quotes from Vintage Classics explore nine of them.
"It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them."
"And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, is that if something happened to one of us--excuse me for saying this--but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we're talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory. Am I wrong? Am I way off base?"
"Oh great, you too. So now I wear this label 'Queer' emblazoned across my chest. Or I could always carve a scarlet 'L' on my forehead. Why does everyone have to put you in a box and nail the lid on it? I don't know what I am—polymorphous and perverse. Shit. I don't even know if I'm white. I'm me. That's all I am and all I want to be. Do I have to be something?"
"He remembered once when the grass was damp and she came to him on hurried feet, her thin slippers drenched with dew. She stood upon his shoes nestling close and held up her face, showing it as a book open at a page.
'Think how you love me,' she whispered. 'I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.'"
"Her kiss was such that they reeled apart, drunk, deaf, breathless, trembling as if they had just been fighting. She stood up again in front of him, but he did not move from the depths of his chair, and she taunted him under her breath, ‘Well? … Well?’ and waited for an insult. Instead, he held out his arms, opened his vague, beautiful hands, tilted his head back as if he had been struck, and let her see beneath each eyelash the glint of a shining tear."
"My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Healthcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being."
"He was attracted to her because he was unsure of his effect upon her and became increasingly attached to her because of her strangeness which seemed to him qualitatively different but quantitively akin to the strangeness he himself felt, as though both could say of the world: ‘We are strangers here.’ Fish in the deep sea are luminous so that they can recognise one another; might not men and women also exude some kind of speechless luminescence to those akin to them?"
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."
"Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant’s body digs in you
and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.
I only was a tunnel. The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion. To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.
But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence! Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!
Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace. My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road. Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows and weariness follows, and the infinite ache."