Study Guide

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! Calling Card

By Sir Philip Sidney

Calling Card

Love Hurts

This song could be totally be Sidney's theme song because, well, his poetry in Astrophel and Stella is all about how love really, really… hurts sometimes. In this poem, for example, the references to "sharp arrows," and "scorn" make sure we get the message.

This whole connection between love and pain is everywhere. You can literally pick almost any poem in the volume and find it. Take the first two lines of the first poem in the sequence to see what we mean: "Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show / That she (dear she), might take some pleasure of my pain." Comments like these are scattered all over the place: "Love gave the wound" in Sonnet 2 (line 2), "I now have learned Love right, and learned even so / As who by being poisoned doth poison know" in Sonnet 16 (13-14), and "I burn, burn in love" in Sonnet 59 (2). Love compared to a poison or burning? That can't be good—or feel good for that matter.

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