Sonnet on Jean-Baptiste Pigalle’s Friendship (1753)by Hollis Robbins
Of amitié, the poets rarely sing.
Human bonds without the brutal claims
Of sex or blood, voluntary chains
Unlinked to kin or rank desiring—
What profit can there be in mere affection?
Can lines on friendship offer consolation
Like Dido’s sword or Abelard’s castration?
We’re drawn like moths to tales of immolation.
And so I’m skeptical when someone’s kind,
When love is offered free, without demands,
Asking neither sacrifice nor fire.
There must be something hidden in a hand
Held outstretched. Yet I wouldn’t mind
A tender offer, should you be a buyer.
Mme de Pompadour as the Goddess of Friendship