Sonnet 116 – In Memoriam

In Memoriam Dr. Jan Gillquist, who died May 12th, 2016

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
[Sonnet 116]

In today’s Shakespeare Seer we remember Dr. Jan Gillquist, who died last month at his home in Sweden. Jan, who was born in 1934, was an orthopaedic surgeon famous worldwide for his research into sports injuries. He was also a deeply cultured man, who in addition to his scientific interests was an artist, musician and horticulturalist. He and his wife, Karola Messner, to whom we also dedicate this sonnet, were active supporters of the Shakespeare Academy. Like her husband, Karola has worked seamlessly between the fields of science and art, and donated a number of her paintings to our inaugural exhibition, A Celebration of the Forest. Their perceptive and challenging commentaries on our posts have been a constant source of inspiration, and we have greatly valued their serious and dedicated approach to life. Together Jan and Karola created a 6-acre sculpture garden at their home on the Baltic Sea, which contains over a thousand roses and almost as many rhododendra. Their finest garden, however, is the relationship they cultivated together over many decades, and it is as a devoted, dauntless and original couple that we honour them now with Shakespeare’s reflections on the nature of true love.

Take Physic, Pomp!

(Featured Image: ‘The Bridge’ by Karola Messner)


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