|Villa Mysteriorum, Pompeii|
Besides much hilarity and keen observations that will seem familiar to anyone who's experienced any of these circumstances or altered states of being, Ovid equates love and war. As in, "all's fair in love and war" -- though little would seem equally fair in either love or war.
Every time I read Ovid, it's hard not to smile.
Here are a few jots and tittles from the Peter Green translation, Ovid, The Erotic Poems: The Amores, The Art of Love, Cures for Love, On Facial Treatment for Ladies (London, Penguin classics, 1982).
'Love, like war, is a toss-up. The defeated can recover,
While some you might think invincible collapse;
So if you've got love written off as an easy option
You'd better think twice. Love calls
For guts and initiative.' (pages 101-102)
'If you want a cure for slackness, fall in love.' (page 102)
'I've come to my senses, your profile leaves me cold.
Why am I different? you ask. I'll tell you. Because you keep nagging
For presents. That's what turns me off.' (page 102)
'Quit wanting, and I'll give.' (page 104)
On the sly and in reconnoitering for signs of his paramour's feelings and desires, Ovid directs Corinna's hairdresser Napë:
'Watch her face and eyes . . . Expressions can be revealing of things to come.' (ditto.)
Like Sun-Tzu's The Art of War (circa 500 B.C.), Ovid's "Erotic Poems" serve as a poetic, philosophical and practical treatise on The Art of LoveWar that is still valid and quite relevant. Good stuff.
Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune.