Poem of the Week

This week Jamie Millington, from mhl support in Newcastle-under-Lyme, reminded me of one of the most beautiful – and most frequently quoted – of Shakespeare’s sonnets.


When reading poems it’s important not to get too hung up on understanding the “meaning” of every word. With this sonnet, just keep thinking of that first line– ‘shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?’ The speaker of the poem is addressing his love, who he finds more beautiful than anything else in the whole world. It’s true poetic love (or lust, at least).


Let me know what you think of this one.


Sonnet 18


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 oft’ 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 wanderest 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.

William Shakespeare



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