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"All Love is Work," an American Sonnet, with workshop introduction

Updated on July 30, 2015

Workshop Introduction

1. We all know love is controversial;
so many different meanings,
so many different definitions,
so many different life experiences
to put firm ground beneath
our many different expectations.

2. The poetry of love is universal,
whether in harmony or in reversal,
and few in any culture who put words on paper
can long avoid temptation for rehearsal
of how their love, in fact, will tantalize, then taper.

3. So recently when one of my most frequent correspondents
invited me, and challenged me to write some interesting comments
on how the sexes differ in their various perspectives,
and leaving to one side the possible invectives,
I took a look at how we variously look at love's sweet moments.

4. Which now I offer here for your enjoyment,
or possible enlightenment, or comment.

All Love is Work
An American Sonnet

In spite of all my faults, mistakes, and merry misconceptions,
you say you love me, and this fact will have no alterations,
yet even you acknowledge that I need some reconstructions,
which would require that I accept from you detailed instructions.

But as for love in general, I think the more we grow and know,
we will discover that most any kind of love we now experience,
including women's love you speak of with such innocence
(though not the kind conceived in pitiful pure pru-ri-ence),

is not so much un-al-ter-ab-le fact that you cannot let go,
as shifting, sifting fact of life that you must work . . . to make it so.
But from a typical male point of view -- to you a rank impertinence --
love is a journey to a des-ti-na-tion you can't fully know . . . until you go.

For love is work that never ends, no matter what your point of view,
and how it all turns out, for you, depends on you, and what you do.

Max Joseph Havlick
Saturday 2 p.m., November 16, 2013
Slightly revised and republished, July 27, 2015


Copyright (c) 2013 by The Max Havlick School, 16 W. Vermont St., Villa Park, IL 60181-1938, all rights reserved, "valuing each person's life as a priceless work of art." The Max Havlick School is not primarily about Max Havlick, but about enduring ideals of personal creation and responsible world citizenship through education, literature, science, and spiritual enlightenment. If the school is not about those things, then it will die as soon as Max stops breathing suburban Chicago's polluted air.


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    • Max Havlick profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Havlick 

      4 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      Oh my, for goodness sake! . . . I suddenly can't fake

      or take for sake . . . I have no audience at stake!


      Canadian kid's craft -- is this the mother or the child?

      I'll check you out; my cu-ri-os-i-ty is going wild!

      And is this Jackie from the beautiful land South,

      or really beautiful Jackie now living in land South?

      Faith Reaper, I have often learned much good of you

      when your remarks to Kimberly come into view.


      Perhaps Love's answer does seem simpler to some ready women,

      but few are satisfied with love without some ready money,

      and while for men love may bring sweet times in the sun-lit summer,

      for most it also means hard working effort through the sun-less winter.


      But I confess, I love you all -- that's plain for you to see:

      the wealth that I give you comes through my poetry,

      which turns out to be good for me, ac-tu-al-ly,

      for dollars shyly turn their eyes away from me,

      while verses make sweet love with me more readily.


      Ask Kimberly! I'm sure she'll tell you all about it!

      If you close read her hubs, you'll find they are full of it.


      Thank you all for the birthday greetings, and best wishes to you, from Max, Thurs. Dec. 5, 2013, noon central, and remember,

      "If it is not fun,

      it cannot be done."

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Happy Birthday Max! I arrived here via Kim's beautiful Happy 80th Birthday tribute to you this day. She is a sweet friend indeed and you are an amazing poet.

      Up and more and sharing

      The answer is simple: Love

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very deep and beautiful. Happy birthday! ^

    • kidscrafts profile image


      4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you for this lovely poetry!

      Have a very Happy Birthday and a lovely day!


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