Sunday, 1 June 2008
William Shakespeare - Sonnet 130
William Shakespeare was baptised 26 April 1564 in Stratford upon Avon in England. He was an poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. He died on 23 April 1616.
The Sonnets were published in 1609, but Scholars are not certain when each of the 154sonnets was composed; Evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private readership.
In Sonnet 130 included in our first leaflet, the poet satirises the tradition of comparing one's beloved to all things beautiful under the sun, and to things divine and immortal as well. It is often said that the praise of his mistress is so negative that the reader is left with the impression that she is almost unlovable. On the contrary, although the first part makes many negative comparisons, the second part contrives to make one believe that the sound of her voice is sweeter than any music, and that she far outdistances any goddess in her merely human beauties and her mortal approachability.
This is the sonnet as originally published:
M Y Miſtres eyes are nothing like the Sunne,
Currall is farre more red,then her lips red,
If ſnow be white,why then her breſts are dun:
If haires be wiers,black wiers grow on her head:
I haue ſeene Roſes damaskt,red and white,
But no ſuch Roſes ſee I in her cheekes,
And in ſome perfumes is there more delight,
Then in the breath that from my Miſtres reekes.
I loue to heare her ſpeake,yet well I know,
That Muſicke hath a farre more pleaſing found:
I graunt I neuer ſaw a goddeſſe goe,
My Miſtres when ſhee walkes treads on the ground.
And yet by heauen I thinke my loue as rare,
As any ſhe beli'd with falſe compare.
Why not download the poster of the poem and frame or laminate it for your waiting room or staffroom? You order Shakespeare's Sonnets published by many publishers from Amazon and all good bookshops.