We will look at my first poem and poet in the series poetry corner. (Drum roll please) and the winner is:

Sonnet 18

William Shakespeare 1608

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The first time I read this poem I was eleven years old and I thought it was strangely beautiful. I knew nothing about eras or types of poem but I knew that I had never read a more realistic poem in my life (I also thought he had a black girlfriend 🙂 )

Sonnet 18 is perhaps the best known of all sonnets. Shakespeare wrote 154 of them but this one tends to top most popular lists, mainly due to the opening line which every romantic knows off by hear. It’s a traditional fourteen line poem, unlike the Petrarchan Sonnet  the Shakespearean sonnet is divided into three four-line sections (called quatrains), followed by a two-line section (called a couplet). It also has the rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Sonnet 18 speaks of the everlasting beauty and timelessness of poetry and living forever. when I met this poem again I realized several things that I missed when I was eleven. Sonnet 18 praises a friend, traditionally known as the ‘fair youth’. The sonnet is more than just a poem – it is a real thing that guarantees that by being described in the poem the young man’s beauty will be sustained. Even death will be irrelevant because the lines of verse will be read by future generations when poet and fair youth are no more. The image will live in the verse.

If you have any thoughts on the poem drop a comment

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