William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet 1: - Poem by William Shakespeare

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light'st flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

Comments about Sonnet 1: by William Shakespeare

  • Gold Star - 68,780 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/7/2015 11:04:00 AM)

    The first seventeen sonnets are addressed to the poet's breathtaking friend, whose identity is unknown, assuming he existed at all.
    Sonnet n.1 is a procreation sonnet within the Fair Youth sequence.
    The poet's focus in these sonnets is to persuade his friend to start a family, so that his beauty can live on through his children.

    *** Note the similarities between Sonnet 1 and Romeo and Juliet (1.1.201-206) ***

    In Sonnet 1, we begin to see the love story between the fair youth (beloved) and the speaker (lover) unfold, though not the typical love story of the Elizabethan era. However, each of Shakespeare's sonnets can still be read as separate from the other sonnets.
    In this sonnet, the speaker engages in an argument with the beloved/fair youth about procreation: An agon, a dramatic struggle, develops between the speaker and the youth..
    Scholar Helen Vendler sums up Sonnet 1: The different rhetorical moments of this sonnet (generalizing reflection, reproach, injunction, prophecy) are permeable to one another's metaphors, so that the rose of philosophical reflection yields the bud of direct address, and the famine of address yields the glutton who, in epigram, eats the world's due.

    Shakespeare's sonnets do not exactly adhere to the norms of the sonnet form established by the Italian poet, Petrarch.
    According to Robert Matz, Shakespeare transforms the sonnet convention.
    Shakespeare brings in topics and themes that were unusual at the time.
    Shakespeare's audience would have interpreted such an aggressive tone as entirely improper encouragement of procreation.
    In fact, the other sonnets of the time revered chastity.
    However, Shakespeare does not engage in stock exaltation of the chastity of the beloved, but instead accuses the young man of gluttonous self-consumption in his refusal to produce a 'tender heir' who would continue his beauty beyond the inexorable decay of aging.
    Sonnets are often about romantic love between the speaker and the beloved but Shakespeare does not do this.
    Instead, Shakespeare urges the young man, the beloved, to have sex and procreate with a woman in marriage.
    Marriage in Shakespeare's time was mainly functional. If in fact Shakespeare’s sonnet was about a beloved that was a man, then this was an entirely new concept.

    [from Wikipedia] (Report) Reply

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  • Gold Star - 68,780 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/7/2015 10:56:00 AM)

    Shakespeare's Sonnets is the title of a collection of 154 sonnets accredited to William Shakespeare which cover themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality.

    It was first published in a 1609 quarto with the full stylised title:
    - '' SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS. Never before Imprinted. '' (although sonnets 138 and 144 had previously been published in the 1599 miscellany The Passionate Pilgrim) .
    The quarto ends with A Lover's Complaint, a narrative poem of 47 seven-line stanzas written in rhyme royal -

    The first 17 poems, traditionally called the procreation sonnets, are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it to the next generation.

    Other sonnets express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life; seem to criticise the young man for preferring a rival poet; express ambiguous feelings for the speaker's mistress; and pun on the poet's name.

    The Fair Youth is the unnamed young man to whom sonnets 1–126 are addressed. Some commentators, noting the romantic and loving language used in this sequence of sonnets, have suggested a sexual relationship between them; others have read the relationship as platonic love.

    The earliest poems in the sequence recommend the benefits of marriage and children. With the famous sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day) the tone changes dramatically towards romantic intimacy. Sonnet 20 explicitly laments that the young man is not a woman.
    Most of the subsequent sonnets describe the ups and downs of the relationship, culminating with an affair between the poet and the Dark Lady. The relationship seems to end when the Fair Youth succumbs to the Lady's charms.(Sonnet 144) .

    There have been many attempts to identify the young man. Shakespeare's one-time patron, Henry Wriothesley,3rd Earl of Southampton is commonly suggested, although Shakespeare's later patron, William Herbert,3rd Earl of Pembroke, has recently become popular.

    The Dark Lady sequence (sonnets 127–154) , distinguishes itself from the Fair Youth sequence by being overtly sexual in its passion. Among these, Sonnet 151 has been characterised as bawdy and is used to illustrate the difference between the spiritual love for the Fair Youth and the sexual love for the Dark Lady.
    The distinction is commonly made in the introduction to modern editions of the sonnets.
    The Dark Lady is so called because the poems make it clear that she has black hair and dun coloured skin. As with the Fair Youth, there have been many attempts to identify her with a real historical individual. Lucy Negro, Mary Fitton, Emilia Lanier, and others have been suggested.

    The Rival Poet's identity remains a mystery; among the varied candidates are Christopher Marlowe, George Chapman, or, an amalgamation of several contemporaries.
    However, there is no hard evidence that the character had a real-life counterpart. The speaker sees the Rival as competition for fame, coin and patronage.
    The sonnets most commonly identified as the Rival Poet group exist within the Fair Youth sequence in sonnets 78–86.

    The final two sonnets are allegorical treatments of Greek epigrams referring to the little love-god Cupid.

    The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, entered the book in the Stationers' Register on 20 May 1609:
    - '' Tho. Thorpe. Entred for his copie under the handes of master Wilson and master Lownes Wardenes a booke called Shakespeares sonnettes vjd. '' -
    Whether Thorpe used an authorised manuscript from Shakespeare or an unauthorised copy is unknown. George Eld printed the quarto, and the run was divided between the booksellers William Aspley and John Wright.
    [from Wikipedia] (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 886 Points Reyvrex Questor Reyes (10/10/2015 8:13:00 PM)

    Shakespeare Sonnet 1 Modernized

    Hi, beautiful, you don't have suitors yet?
    Make haste, and of yourself, some copies make
    That when you're dead, each grandchild that you'll get,
    Will not remembering of you forsake,
    But you, bent to become a beauty, slim
    Subsists, at lengths, on your own body fat,
    Starved, eating none, and meager meals you skim
    As discipline, but too severe at that;
    And you, on your last show of youthfulness,
    From whose young womb new life could have ensued,
    Have been a monument to uselessness,
    To shun the married state, its bliss, elude:
    ....It's such a waste to die, a single life,
    ....So hurry, find yourself a loving wife. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 184 Points Brian Jani (4/26/2014 5:06:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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