Tuesday 23 July 2013

Day 368: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

A perfect summer's day calls for a perfect summer poem. No better than Shakespeare's famous sonnet 18 comparing his lover to a summer's day.

Maybe the two most infamous lines of poetry ever are to be found in this sonnet:  Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?/Thou art more lovely and more temperate' . They are  also two of the most romantic I think. Who wouldn't beam at being compared to a summer's day, all bright and light and happy and uplifting? 

But not only a comparison, the poet goes beyond and deems this person even better and more lovely than a summer's day. Summer fades and loses its beauty, but his lover is endowed of an 'eternal summer', his 'fairness' never wilts in the eys of the beloved. Now there's endearment for you!

*(Don't let the language trip you up! - you can read an explanatory line-by-line version of the poem here: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/sonnet/18  )

Sonnet 18 - William Shakespeare

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think! To leave a comment - comment as/sign in with your Google ID if you have one, or website or blog address, or if these don't apply, sign in as Anonymous, and leave your name if you like!