Monday, February 4, 2013

The Master Speed

I love this poem about marriage, which was written by Frost for his daughter on the occasion of her wedding. It's so beautiful. In fact, I once inscribed this poem on a book I gave my husband--before we were even engaged. According to the date in the inscription, we were engaged about 4 months later. I guess my husband took the hint!

The truth is, we had talked about marriage together quite a bit before our engagement so I don't think my inscription was too bold. In fact, the book I wrote it in is a wonderful book on marriage that gets its title from Frost's sonnet. It's called Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying, and it contains essays and excerpts and poetry by Aquinas and Rousseau, Rilke and Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Tocqueville, and many more. My parents owned a copy and gave it to me to read, and right around the same time I found a used copy of it in the Strand Bookstore in New York for about two dollars, so I bought a copy for my beloved too. 

I admit I haven't read too much of this book so far--it's an anthology, so it's not necessarily the kind of book you read straight through--but the parts of it I have read I've found incredibly inspiring and have really stuck with me. And as you all probably know by now, I'm passionate about marriage, and reading great writing on love and commitment is something I enjoy very much. I've re-discovered this book among our collection and have decided to leave it out on our coffee table and make an effort to read an essay or two from it regularly. I imagine that also means that I'll be inspired to write some posts on what I read, so I hope you'll join me in my discoveries.

Now I have a question for all of you who are engaged or married--did you discuss marriage with your significant other before becoming engaged? Was it important to you to talk about what marriage meant to you before taking the next step? If you are not engaged, would you gift a book like this to your boyfriend before he becomes your fiancé?


  1. Oh yes, you know I'm passionate about marriage! We talked quite extensively about it pre-engagement, and our goals and desires for a marriage that would not settle for the status quo. And now, quite a few years later, I'm so glad we did! Knowing that we were both headed toward the same goals, has been so instrumental in how strong our marriage is today. Still feel like newlyweds :-) (and plan to until we die!)

  2. Love this, Kristin! I would have expected such intentionality in your marriage from you :) I love that you still feel like newlyweds--that's just too sweet.

  3. Great topic! My husband and I were together for about seven years before getting engaged, and we talked about marriage a lot, such as how the institution didn't matter to us as much as the act of formally committing our lives together before family and friends. There were other thoughts, too, and I'm glad that we shared our values and hopes with each other before getting married because it made the experience even more meaningful. That sounds like a beautiful book, and I would love to check it out.

  4. Glad to hear you so thoughtfully discussed marriage together. It really is a lovely book--I recommend it!


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