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Best Famous Sonnet Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Sonnet poems. This is a select list of the best famous Sonnet poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Sonnet poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of sonnet poems.

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Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
   For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings
   That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet 71

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse When I perhaps compounded am with clay, Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay, Lest the wise world should look into your moan And mock you with me after I am gone
Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem

Nostalgia

 Remember the 1340's? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade, and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular, the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon, and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow.
" Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.
Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet marathons were the rage.
We used to dress up in the flags of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.
The 1790's will never come again.
Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.
I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment, time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps, or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me recapture the serenity of last month when we picked berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.
Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.
As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past, letting my memory rush over them like water rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine, a dance whose name we can only guess.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet 55

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contènts
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise, You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
Written by Pablo Neruda | Create an image from this poem

Morning (Love Sonnet XXVII)

 Naked you are simple as one of your hands;
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round.
You've moon-lines, apple pathways Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.
Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba; You've vines and stars in your hair.
Naked you are spacious and yellow As summer in a golden church.
Naked you are tiny as one of your nails; Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born And you withdraw to the underground world.
As if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores; Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves, And becomes a naked hand again.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

Shall I compare thee to a summers day? (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 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.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet XXXIV

 Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.


Written by Edgar Allan Poe | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet -- To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart Vulture whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood The Elfin from the green grass and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Written by Edgar Allan Poe | Create an image from this poem

An Enigma

 "Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce, 
"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at once As easily as through a Naples bonnet- Trash of all trash!- how can a lady don it? Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff- Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it.
" And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant Bubbles- ephemeral and so transparent- But this is, now- you may depend upon it- Stable, opaque, immortal- all by dint Of the dear names that he concealed within 't.
Written by William Shakespeare | Create an image from this poem

My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)

 My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
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