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68 * love “If you want to know what the table is for me, it is an enormous wish for love. Cooking gives me hope to receive love from the people to whom I give food. I mean, even if I give you an onion omelet, I hope to tell you, through this omelet, that I love you, Patrizia, and I hope you are fine at my house, so that you feel love and you give some love to me too . . .” 69 Love the chapters titled “love,” “power,” and “labor” examine how Italian women create and are created by their family foodworlds. Our discussion of love describes how Italians use

Eros and the Afterlife in Renaissance England
Romantic Friendship in American Fiction
A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon

Today it may be easier for Christians to imagine God as a friend than a lover. This state of affairs should surprise us. “Upon my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves” a yearning speaker writes of her beloved in one of the love poems that make up the biblical book known as the Song of Songs (3:1, NRSV). Clearly an erotic poem, the Song of Songs became a beloved spiritual text through allegorical interpretation; Christian interpreters explained that one lover was the soul or the church while the other was Christ or God. This tradition of

* 2 * Love C h a p t e r t h r e e The Promise of Self- Transformation in The Case of Wagner Few subjects are as central to Nietz sche’s oeuvre as love. Nietz sche employs some of his richest and most famous imagery in order to draw the reader’s attention to the theme of love. For instance, as Robert Pippin has suggested, the opening metaphor of Beyond Good and Evil— where phi- losophers are likened to “awkward lovers”— makes it possible to understand Nietz sche’s writings as nothing less than an attempt to teach philosophers a new way of pursuing and

69 LOVE POEM I wanted to write a love poem but instead I watched the news: there is talk of Syria falling there is talk of Syria rising, there is only talk and talk, of a lion griping, fighting, over lots and lots of talk, though you do remember clearly that I always wanted you, though we had no plans for nothing, there were tides and lands in tides, and incessant talk of nothing, and a seed to plant in hand, though we’ve seen it all in burning, have we not the winds to blame, yet there is always talk of Syria, there is always talk of home, and there is always

30 Love Song The ancients would lift a clay spout to your lips— water and honey and wine. I give you milk, softened with wine, and swear you’ll never hunger, never thirst while I’m alive. What suffering I can’t preclude I’ll soothe with singing: My future, for you not the greenness of a leaf but of the leaves on all the April branches. Fire, I give you fuel. I sweat and chop the wood. I tender forever in you who begin where I end as if 31 your body is my body, your elegance my elegance. Sustenance, emptiness is lack of you, yearning is the road to where you are

• 15 • L o v e P o e m Although the angels of numbers and letters wrestle darkness into shapes, and the plane descending over the I-10 wraps my car in the gust and sonic draw of velocity— it too has a flight path and calm passengers and no fiery end for us—I duck and think, so this is it. Medievals thought hunger lived its own life in the body, parasitic, our organs entered by it. Love was like this too, a contagion, the blood- filled heart unlocked by his face, her voice, and we suffered from its side effects of hedonism, forgetting. The geranium on my

emotion; it is no wonder then that he is consistently drawn to themes of breakdown and mad- ness—the only way the contemporary cinema can assimilate emotions of Cassavetes’s size is to characterize them as insanity. Love Streams renews those habitual themes; it takes the essence of his 1974 A Woman Under the Infl uence—Gena Rowlands as a woman who drives her family away because she loves them too intently—and marries it to the essence of his 1970 Husbands—Cassavetes himself as a man who looks for emotional refuge in brief aff airs. The synthesis produces a