William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet Xviii: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? - Poem by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


Comments about Sonnet Xviii: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 11:02:00 AM)

    Sonnet 18 is the best known and most well-loved of all 154 sonnets. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. The stability of love and its power to immortalize the subject of the poet's verse is the theme. (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 11:02:00 AM)

    The poet starts the praise of his dear friend without ostentation, but he slowly builds the image of his friend into that of a perfect being. His friend is first compared to summer in the octave, but, at the start of the third quatrain, he is summer, and thus, he has metamorphosed into the standard by which true beauty can and should be judged. The poet's only answer to such profound joy and beauty is to ensure that his friend be forever in human memory, saved from the oblivion that accompanies death. He achieves this through his verse, believing that, as history writes itself, his friend will become one with time. The final couplet reaffirms the poet's hope that as long as there is breath in mankind, his poetry too will live on, and ensure the immortality of his muse.
    [Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 18. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Shakespeare Online.12 Nov.2008] (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 10:59:00 AM)

    It is almost universally accepted by scholars that the poet's love interest is a young man in sonnets 1-126.

    Sonnets 18-25 are often discussed as a group, as they all focus on the poet's affection for his friend. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani Brian Jani (4/26/2014 3:34:00 PM)

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

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Read poems about / on: summer, nature, heaven, death, time, life, sonnet, change, lost, wind



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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