One of these things is not like the others Richard Armitage…

When I finally got around to downloading the Audible app onto my new phone this morning, it occurred to me that I may well have been the only person in Armitageworld who hadn’t heard Richard Armitage reading Classic Love Poems, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  I listened to the recording on my morning commute.  Romance, passion, lust, obsession.  The stuff love poetry is made of.

Then came a splash of cold water. I Corinthians 13: 4-8.  I have heard this verse trotted out at dozens of Christian weddings over the years and it never fails to leave me a bit chilly.  I find it kind of odd here in that it really is not poetry in any way – nor is it particularly romantic…or passionate.  I suppose the issue I’m struggling with is the context.  I Corinthians is St. Paul’s (Saul of Tarsus as was) first letter to the nascent Christian church at Corinth, Greece, and it is decidedly didactic in tone.  In the previous twelve books, Paul provides detailed instruction as to how the church at Corinth, a tiny Christian island in a sea of polytheistic pagans, should go about their Christian business.  For instance…in a preceding chapter that made me bristle during Sunday service a few weeks ago, Paul instructs on what to do about “idol meat”

corinthians idol meat

And so on and so on.  It’s all pretty unromantic if you ask me.

Now, for romantic biblical LOVE poetry, one needs to look no further than the Song of Solomon.  Flocks of goat and sheep similes aside, the Song of Songs (as the book is also known) is full of all the passion and romance that is typical of the most swoonworthy love poetry…just take a look at the opening verse:

song of solomon

Biblical love poetry is some pretty potent stuff, but I also have a favorite non biblical ancient verse that seems to suit my current mood…

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

…Catullus – Carmen 85

Ah, the ebb and flow of love.  For better or worse, it definitely keeps me on my toes!  🙂

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12 comments on “One of these things is not like the others Richard Armitage…

  1. jholland says:

    Like you, I just got around to listening to my download today. It was gorgeous and absolutely beautifully done, as I knew it would be. And I liked the way he narrated 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, but I had the exact same thought as you… why not Song of Solomon instead? It’s far more romantic! Hmmm… maybe if we contact Audible and plead for this to become an annual Valentine’s RICH-ual… we can gently suggest The Song of Songs for next time =)

  2. Guylty says:

    Well sistah, I haven’t heard them yet… Bad fan? *ggg*

  3. linnetmoss says:

    LOL, I completely agree! I had Corinthians at my wedding, but faced with choosing something from the NT, it’s about the best one can do. I also had Solomon’s song 🙂 Much more erotic: “Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies.”

    • obscura says:

      Right? I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember the passages from our wedding…I know there is a bulletin from the service in my church mailbox though (one shows up every now and then as people clean files) I’m checking today…will report back 🙂

  4. Servetus says:

    I assume that the decision to include this was a marketing-related choice, but I’m in total agreement with you. 1 Corinthians is decidedly not about eros.

  5. Hariclea says:

    i was slow listening to it too, it needs a quiet moment 🙂 and there are few of those during the week.

    I was wondering what prompted them to choose this and then i thought they could have chosen other love related texts from other religious sources and not just Christian if they were going to go with the theme. But those would not be in English. Shrugs… I think choosing just one from one source just raises more questions and i’d have probably left it out altogether. I don’t know it very well at all and the whole ‘knowledge will go away’ and such just puzzled me and felt out of place with the whole theme. Love is a recurring theme in all religions and i would have liked to have quotes of several to show a theme that actually unites mankind. But this in isolation doesn’t mean much to me i’m afraid.

    Otherwise beautifully narrated and i am still getting acquainted with some of them as English language poetry i’m less familiar with than German or French. It was a very nice surprise and i hope it creates a trend for next years too 😉

  6. Leigh says:

    There is no way I would have ANYTHING by St. Paul read at a wedding! A saint, but also a misogynist pig! I would rather have something as simple as “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Not NT, but to the point. I do vote for the Song of Solomon for next Valentine’s Day.

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