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The Language of Love

La Redoute recently got in touch with me to let me know about the Language of Love campaign they’re currently running and shared a sneak preview of the above video with me – of course, being the hopeless Disney romantic that I am, I can’t really say no to a campaign entitled the “Language of Love”, can I?! They sent over some stats too, including the sad fact that while 52% of people say that hearing the words “I love you” makes them feel special, 22% confessed that they hadn’t expressed their feelings in over a year, some had never even done so. La Redoute is a French brand, and we all know that Paris is renowned as being the city of romance, so it’s no surprise that people think those 3 words sound far better in a different European language, whether that’s “Je t’aime” or “Ti amo”. I used to love the La Redoute catalogues when I was younger – every season, we would get a Next and a La Redoute catalogue in the post, and I would spend the next day sticking post it notes on pages of things I liked, with sizes, just in case my mum decided she wanted to treat me! I was occasionally treated, if my mum happened to be putting in an order, so around my young teenage years, I had several pieces of clothing from La Redoute, and true to themselves, they were all that simple French style that could be worn over and over again.
La Redoute have asked us to share some words for our loved ones, to make them feel special, and I think I’m probably ruining the point of this post because I don’t want to be too soppy and literally write them down, but that’s mostly because I’d prefer to share those words with those people in person, rather than across the internet with who knows how many people able to read them.
And to be honest, I’m not one of those people that finds it hard to say. Maybe it’s because I was brought up with a love of Disney in my heart, but I never finish a phone call to my family without at least saying “Love you” before I go, and despite being nearly 24, if I’m staying overnight with my family, they still each get a hug before bed. And while Ben and I aren’t particularly “romantic” with each other any more (it has been more than 6 years now, can’t keep that up every day!), I never go a day without making sure that he knows I love him.
So, seeing as this post is to do with the language of love, can I please be ultra geeky and post something in a language I love?! Since I should probably keep it on topic, let’s go for one of Ovid’s love poems from the Amores. I’ve studied these sets of poems twice now, and actually Ovid’s one of my favourite Classical authors anyway – while they are technically love poems, they also have a humor to them that I didn’t quite get the first time I read them, such as one being addressed to the door that he can’t get past to his lover – yep, those Romans! So anyway, they did ask me to be unique, and I think I’m doing that! This is Ovid’s first Amores poem, talking about how he was about to start being a “man” and writing about war, but then Cupid laughed at him, shot him with an arrow, and he fell in love – not the most romantic poem ever, but it’s definitely an original one and is really quite clever. I could go on about it and analyse it all day for you, but then you’d hate me (in fact, I can tell that those who know me in real life will now be uttering the phrase they usually say as soon as I start spouting anything to do with Latin: “Shut up, Sian!”), so here is the poem, in all its Latin glory (with a pretty good translation here if you want it):

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
     Edere, materia conveniente modis.
Par erat inferior versus: risisse Cupido
     Dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.
Quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?
     Pieridum vates, non tua turba sumus.
Quid, si praeripiat flavae Venus arma Minervae,
     Ventilet accensas flava Minerva faces?
Quis probet in silvis Cererem regnare iugosis,
     Lege pharetratae virginis arva coli?
Crinibus insignem quis acuta cuspide Phoebum
     Instruat, Aoniam Marte movente lyram?
Sunt tibi magna, puer, nimiumque potentia regna;
     Cur opus adfectas, ambitiose, novum?
An, quod ubique, tuum est? tua sunt Heliconia tempe?
     Vix etiam Phoebo iam lyra tuta sua est?
Cum bene surrexit versu nova pagina primo,
     Attenuat nervos proximus ille meos;
Nec mihi materia est numeris levioribus apta,
     Aut puer aut longas compta puella comas.’
Questus eram, pharetra cum protinus ille soluta
     Legit in exitium spicula facta meum,
Lunavitque genu sinuosum fortiter arcum,
     ‘Quod’ que ‘canas, vates, accipe’ dixit ‘opus!’
Me miserum! certas habuit puer ille sagittas.
     Uror, et in vacuo pectore regnat Amor.
Sex mihi surgat opus numeris, in quinque residat:
     Ferrea cum vestris bella valete modis!
Cingere litorea flaventia tempora myrto,
     Musa, per undenos emodulanda pedes!

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