poet William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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Sonnet 104: To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd:
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Poem Edited: Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Form: Sonnet

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Comments about Sonnet 104: To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (4/2/2016 10:19:00 AM)

    in ITALIAN:

    Per me, mio caro, non sarai mai vecchio: come quando il tuo viso io mirai prima, bello mi sembri. Hanno tre freddi inverni scosso dai boschi a tre estati il vanto, tre belle primavere in gialli autunni mutarsi ho visto nel volger dell'anno, tre profumi d'aprile arsi in tre giugni, da quando vidi te verde come ora.
    Ah, come un indice di meridiana, trascorre impercettibile beltà: sempre immota a me sembra la tua forma, ma è mobile, e può l'occhio ingannare. Future età, prima che foste nate, era già morta di beltà l'estate.

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  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (2/29/2016 6:05:00 AM)

    The theme of Sonnet 104, the ravages of Time, is one common throughout all of the sonnets.
    The poet uses his fond memories of first meeting his lover as inspiration to write the poem. It is clear from Sonnet 104, and the other sonnets as a whole, that the passion he feels for his male lover (the Earl of Southampton? the true identity of Shakespeare's lover is still unknown) , is the most intense experience of the poet's life. Nothing is important but his lover; his lover is eternal, both in beauty and spirit.

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  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (1/14/2016 3:41:00 PM)

    This sonnet is thought by many to be one of the so called 'dating' sonnets. If we could determine the date when youth and poet first met, so the argument runs, we could then decide when this sonnet was written. This may be so, but it has been pointed out that the three year period mentioned in lines 3-7 is probably only notional, a conventional time span for love to build and fructify.

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  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (1/14/2016 3:41:00 PM)

    ''To me, fair friend, you never can be old, ''
    Perhaps this line responds to the suggestions in the previous sonnets that the mirror is beginning to show lines and wrinkles in the beloved's face. Or perhaps it is intended as a reassuring declaration by the poet, that for him nothing will change, despite the transience of the world all around him. It may have sprung from private conversations, and from comments made by the young man. In substance it foreshadows the famous declaration of faith of Sonnet 116
    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments


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  • Musa Gift MasombukaMusa Gift Masombuka (9/29/2015 11:02:00 AM)

    Nice one. So impressive. I like I like

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  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/26/2014 5:12:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out

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