Poetry Sunday: Shakespeare...again

It's too hot to do much of anything. Temperatures in the triple digits (Fahrenheit) do tend to make one somnambulant. So, instead of doing all the (ahem) hard work required to seek out a new poem for Poetry Sunday, I've decided to feature an "old" one from 2017. Actually, of course, it's a lot older than that, yet evergreen and forever young.


Poetry Sunday: Sonnet 18

When I think of poems about summer, this is the first one that pops into my head. It's one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets. It compares the person to whom the poem is addressed to a summer day and concludes that although summer may be an uneven and imperfect season ("Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines..."), for the subject of the poem his/her "eternal summer shall not fade". And it concludes with this famous couplet:

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

He was not wrong.

Sonnet 18

by 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 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 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.


  1. Every year at some point in spring, the words “darling buds of May” come to mind. As you say, one of his most memorable and beautiful sonnets.

  2. One of my favorite of Shakespeare's sonnets! And it is too hot to want to do much of anything. We'll be at 106 today and 100+ all week. Ugh.

  3. I'm not sure but if this might not be the same lovely comparison if this is said to a person living on the 2023 Texas Gulf Coast as it might have been to a person in England in Shakespeare's day.


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