🎤POEM: “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare

“Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare, English (1564-1616)

Today’s balmy breezes and the “darling buds of May” bring to mind one of my favorite sonnets written by William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18,” with its famous first line: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”  During his lifetime, Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets.  The word sonnet comes from the Italian word sonetto, meaning little song. A sonnet is a simple lyric poem with fourteen lines and a fixed rhyming pattern.  Each line is written in iambic pentameter.  An iamb is a word with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  The word compare from the first line of this sonnet is an example of an iamb.  And pentameter? Penta means five, so there are five stressed syllables in each line.  That’s it!

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Sarah M. Fredericks © 2015

Carpe Librum!📚Seize the Book…and let the page-turning begin!

8 Comments

Filed under AUDIO🎤, England, POEM

8 responses to “🎤POEM: “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare

  1. Richard

    Beautiful Sonnet Sarah. I wonder…was Shakespeare really a woman? Many scholars have divergent opinions on the subject of who the author was. Maybe it was really Marlowe? Or Queen Bess herself? Anyway, whoever wrote these beautiful sonnets and plays concisely distilled the human experience with the precision of a laser. Thanks for a great piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Richard. I have also read that perhaps Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets were written by Sir Francis Bacon or The Earl of Oxford because Shakespeare was not educated enough to have written them himself. Hmmm…. We shall never know. There is a great movie called ANONYMOUS, starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave, that addresses this very issue. A must see!
      Interestingly enough, Shakespeare spelled his name at least 13 different ways – a rather revealing aspect of his personality, don’t you think?

      Like

  2. Marcus J Copley

    This is a great sonnet Sarah – my favourite parts/lines are:
    “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date” – a warning of sorts don’t you think? – to fill your days and pack as much as we can into our short lives!
    Then – “and every fair from fair sometime declines, but thy eternal summer shall not fade” – which makes me think of couples who say to each other she/he is just the same as when I met her/him, and if possible, I love her/him more now. They will often say it is a deeper love – it has passed through so many levels as the years have gone by – whoever attains that is lucky indeed.
    “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee” – what can I say? There are some things that belong to lovers/life partners and can truly be said to be theirs to ‘own’ – cannot be bought or sold – are intangible, yet they exist – hard to find – sometimes hard to keep – find it and don’t die wondering!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marcus, thank you so much for your wonderful assessment of Shakespeare’s sonnet and your thoughts on love and lovers. It is true that when love comes along, we should welcome it with open arms, a generous heart, an understanding mind, and an adventurous spirit.

      Like

  3. Hayley Medeiros

    I enjoyed this post and this recording very much. Sonnet 18 is one of my favorite Shakespearean sonnets. I really like the music you chose to accompany your reading. Your reading is very lovely.

    I do miss teaching Shakespeare. My students and I used to celebrate the Bard’s birthday every year by baking cakes with quotes from his plays on them. Ah, the good old days! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carl

    Interesting information about sonnets. Beautifully recorded, Sarah. I love your choice of music.

    Liked by 1 person

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