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Thread: Sonnet #18

  1. #1
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    Post Sonnet #18

    Sonnet #18

    XVIII.

    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 owest;
    Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

    More...

  2. #2
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Of course,one is lost for words in an attempt to analyze this universally beloved sonnet. It is too romantic for it's own good.
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  3. #3
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    a summer day is so lovely.
    "You are blocking my sunlight!"

  4. #4
    The famous poem that unknown to school children is actually written to a man. Good on Shakey!

  5. #5
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    It reads brilliantly in a Yorkshire accent.

    I've used this sonnet a lot in my classes because it's not difficult to understand, and easy to translate into the modern idiom.

    I don't think it is too romantic either. It's quite calm and balanced, merely giving reasons why summer days aren't all they're cut out to be - too hot. too dull, too windy, too short a season.

  6. #6
    I like how confidant Sonnet 18 sounds- I think that's the most powerful thing about it, the conviction in saying that this guy will be immortal in Shakespeare's verse.

  7. #7
    Registered User Dogbrick's Avatar
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    I also use this sonnet a lot in classes usually as a quick introduction to the form and structure of a sonnet but also as just a general introduction to poetry.

    It is complex yet simple, easily accessible to both strong students and the strugglers and inspirational for those students who aspire to creating their own voices in poetry.

    Anyone who asks "why do we need to study Shakespeare" need only look at this sonnet to see Shakespeare's continuing relevance in todays society.

  8. #8
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    The first line of this sonnet is always my stock example of iambic pentameter.
    If you'd like to talk about Blake I promise I'll keep checking this thread.
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  9. #9
    It is very iambicy, isn't it?

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    The language is very beautiful, especially (IMO) the last six lines; they are particularly eloquent.

    But these last six lines are also the most mysterious to me. I don't understand why the Bard seems so convinced of his lover's immortality. Why is he so convinced that death shall not brag "that thou wander'st in his shade." And what does he mean by "When in eternal lines to time thou growest." I suppose he is referring to his poetry--even the very sonnet we are reading. It seems that this sonnet is self-referential. Shakespeare seems to be arguing that his poetry will grant his love's beauty immortality (I just figured that out as I was writing; I feel dumb).

    I find Shakespeare's solutions to the mortality problem so fascinating. In the initial sonnets he tells the young man that reproducing is the way to defeat death; now he indicates that poetry/literature are a way of defeating death and securing immortality. Very interesting...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Transmodernism View Post
    I find Shakespeare's solutions to the mortality problem so fascinating. In the initial sonnets he tells the young man that reproducing is the way to defeat death; now he indicates that poetry/literature are a way of defeating death and securing immortality. Very interesting...
    It is thought that the Procreation Sonnets (Sonnets 1-17) were commissioned.

    If you read the later sonnets, Shakespeare struggles with the concept of preserving the lover's life in his poetry. Is the poetry adequate enough?

  12. #12
    The most famous sonnet written by Shakespeare,in this poem he has a profound meditation on the destructive power of time and the eternal beauty brought forth by poetry to the one he loves.

  13. #13
    Book Novice Thomas Novosel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Sonnet #18

    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

    More...
    hehe... so as long as people are around to read this... it will carry on in existance? very kool.
    "Bleak times beckon dark decisions..." -Thomas Novosel 3/24/2012

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Novosel View Post
    hehe... so as long as people are around to read this... it will carry on in existance? very kool.
    There is nothing you can say that doesn't carry on in existance. Even the most sensical can be interpreted existentially.

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