i'll let you be in my dream if i can be in yours
August 17, 2012 9:52 AM   Subscribe

help! a quick quote on love from greek poetry and mexican poetry for a wedding toast.

I've been preparing my best-man talk for my brother for the last couple of weeks and have it down. Except! Now he wants me to lead a brief toast at the actual wedding reception as well (we're exchanging speeches at the rehearsal.) So I want this toast to have a little best-man punch to it (wedding-goers might not know we exchanged speeches the night before/want to hear something!) while also being succinct and good-spirited.

i have an idea: she's greek and he's half-mexican. they both like dylan. i want to say something like "you know, we're all so happy for you, and happy for your love. a greek poet once said, "love is [xyz]." A Mexican poet once said "love is [xyz]." Somewhere near the geographical middle of the two, Bob Dylan said, "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours." So here's to your lives together, your dreams becoming mixed together, etc etc"

can anyone think of appropriate little poetic one-liners from Greek and Mexican poets? thanks so much.
posted by elephantsvanish to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sappho is a great source for one-liners about love. I don't have anything specific off the top of my head. Her surviving works are limited and fragmentary, so you could probably find something pretty quick.
posted by expialidocious at 10:37 AM on August 17, 2012

This is a pretty good list of Sappho fragments in translation; here are some others. Many of them are not happy endings, though the language she uses is often lovely. I've always like this bit:

I tell you
someone will remember us
in the future.

(There are a number of translations of this and other poems, so google around.)

I unfortunately know nothing about Mexican poetry, but you could try using Amazon's search function + the index of books like this to find a promising author?
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:55 AM on August 17, 2012

You could also make an allusion to some of the great love stories, like Penelope and Odysseus and the secret of the strength of their marriage bed. The modern Greek poet Cavafy also has some love poems; the phraseabout "My life’s joy and incense" from this one might work?
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:05 AM on August 17, 2012

From Mexico, Octavio Paz has a line that reminds me of your Dylan quote:

Closing my eyes
I open them inside your eyes.

posted by Beardman at 11:59 AM on August 17, 2012

For your Greek portion, I like this line from Philodemos:

Reckless Love, when you
have me in tow, I won't see fear's shadow.

For your Mexican contribution, I like this portion of a poem by David Huerta:

Lord, save this moment. . . .
it casts its yellow light and swells
like the sun or like flaming lemons
- and tastes of the sea, of loved hands
and smells like a street in Paris
where we were happy.
posted by bearwife at 12:57 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Perhaps you could you weave in a reference from The Monogram by Odysseas Elytis.

If the couple are holding hands then you can speak of how the poet spoke before of "the two small animals, [your] hands, that tried to climb one another in secret"...

"The waves have heard of you
How you caress, how you kiss".

"Neither or both together, hear me".

Or perhaps:
"This flower of the storm and, hear me
Of love
Once and for all, we pick it
And it never comes to flower anywhere else, hear me".

I'll stop here because I'll end up reproducing the whole thing.
posted by mkdirusername at 3:09 PM on August 17, 2012

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