William Shakespeare: Sonnet 130


If you’ve ever studied literature, even in high school, you’ve been exposed to William Shakespeare.  In the high school that I attended, each student had to memorize a Shakespeare sonnet to recite during the first few weeks of school.  You see, our theater teacher was extremely enthusiastic about him and, therefore, we all had to be, as well.

I chose Sonnet 130 because I found it to be both hilarious and, in the end, somewhat sweet, even.  Thirteen year-old Megan was happy to see affections being felt for someone so seemingly physically unpleasant.  All of this, of course, is ignoring the fact that this is just a mistress and not his wife that he’s talking about.

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 be dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I had seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes are their 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.

But a complete collection of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Poems on Amazon.

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Filed under Classics, Poetry, Shakespeare

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