TODAY IS WORLD BOOK DAY!
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
Ruben O.'s favourite (no 129):
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action: and till action, lust
Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest, to have extreme;
A bliss in proof,— and prov'd, a very woe;
Before, a joy propos'd; behind a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell
These are some of the 154 sonnets attributed to William Shakespeare. An interesting fact is that none of his sonnets sport a title – they are all numbered (with Roman numerals - so it helps if you have learned this in school ) and are identified by lines or phrases from each sonnet. Please visit the section “Famous Poets” here on PoetrySoup for examples of Shakespeare’s work (as well as other poets).
Today is the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare. Which is YOUR favourite Shakespeare sonnet?