A Passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

This week, my parents celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. In honour of that, I’m posting this excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernières. Not a poem, but still poetic. I haven’t read this novel yet, but after finding this passage, it is definitely on my list. History, romance, war: it has everything for a great love story. Just like my parents’.

Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.

That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Louis De Bernières


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