Thursday, 6 May 2010

Will Shaxberd

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 damask'd, 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. 

I like this one more than his other really really really famous poem, which starts 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day', maybe because of the way it makes fun of poems like it. Shakespeare's poems read extraordinarily smoothly, probably because of the form he uses. In 'A Wrinkle in Time', Madeleine L'Engle uses the sonnet as a metaphor for lie. It's slightly pretentious, but cool nonetheless. 

Mrs Whatsit: 'A sonnet is a very strict form of poetry is it not? There are fourteen lines, I believe, all in iambic pentameter. That's a very strict rhythm or meter, yes? And each line has to end with a rigid rhyme pattern. And if the poet does not do it exactly this way, it is not a sonnet, is it?'

Charles: 'You mean you're comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?'

Mrs Whatsit: 'You are given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.'

Shakespeare's sonnets are incredibly amazing, not only because he manages to write them in that form at all, but also because he manages to do it so brilliantly.

'The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good — in spite of all the people who say he is very good.' - Robert Graves

1 comment:

Ahiri said...

Annapurna akka showed me this blog.Love this poem .... keep writing more posts.i'll meeet you soon.
have a happy birthday.