Friday, July 29, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Summer's Day

A search of my archives shows me that I have posted five of Shakespeare's sonnets here. But I'm surprised that I haven't posted #18, and I'm going to remedy that today. This is one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets and it's appropriate for this last Friday in July. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" he asks, and then enumerates the reasons why his love is much better than a summer's day. He ends with a promise of immortality; she will live forever in his verse. And sure enough, five hundred years later, we're still reading his love poem to her.

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 dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest 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.

Summer's lease really does have all too short a date, and the lease is almost up. Back to school in just a couple of weeks. Enjoy the last few precious days of summer.

You can find today's roundup here.


GatheringBooks said...

This is one of my favorite Shakespeare sonnets of all time. Truly a classic. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Stock said...

I always remember your daughter reciting this poem- I think she was two! So great! :-)

Diane said...

I just love this one, Ruth!