In his work The Art of Love, the author Ovid advises a lover who wishes to seem sincere in his tearfulness with his mistress momentarily to turn his head aside and stick a finger in his own eye hard to make himself tear up. Such stratagems are in the rhetorical tricks book both physical and verbal, and not only of lovers who would be proclaimed lovers but of potential lovers who want to deny love. That’s what this poem is tangentially about.
The Acting of Love Oh, why do you persist in saying me "Nay" When you could say "Oh yes, my love" so well? Persuasions cunning and so bright arise In your ingenious mind, your lie to tell. Yet I dispute it not; I must respect The limits you have set about to guard Your evidently sovereign right to judge And your true self to countenance and ward. But grant me just a right to criticize The quality of your performance, nor Think I debate your knowledge; I am wise And have seen this conundrum posed before. And thus betwixt your show and my critique We may somehow find love a thing less bleak. ©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 2/12/17
Love as a topic is a difficult thing to discuss sometimes! Shadowoperator