William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet 14: “not From The Stars Do I My Judgement Pluck…” - Poem by William Shakespeare

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good, or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality,
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell;
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find.
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And constant stars in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive
If from thy self, to store thou wouldst convert:
Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.

Comments about Sonnet 14: “not From The Stars Do I My Judgement Pluck…” by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (11/7/2015 11:33:00 AM)

    Paraphrase of Sonnet 14

    I do not receive my knowledge or make my decisions by the stars;
    Though I have enough training in astrology to do so,
    I cannot predict good luck or bad,
    Or plagues, or famine, or the weather;
    Nor can I say what will happen at any given moment in our daily lives,
    Alloting to each man his thunder, rain, and wind [i.e., he cannot fortell our personal troubles],
    Or even tell princes if things will go well for them,
    By frequent omens that I see in the heavens:
    But from your eyes alone do I derive my knowledge,
    And they are my constant stars, in which I read such art [gain such knowledge]
    That I see truth and beauty will live together in harmony,
    If you would only turn your focus from yourself to creating a child;
    Or else this is my prophecy:
    That truth and beauty will all end when you die

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  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (11/7/2015 11:32:00 AM)

    This sonnet introduces a variant of the procreation theme, tying it in with predictions of the future made, not through astrology (Astronomy) , as would normally be expected, but through taking the youth's eyes as stars in the heavens which foretell the future.
    The comparison of stars with eyes is traditional love lore in which the beloved assumes the qualities of everything that is angelic and heavenly. Drayton, Sydney and other contemporary poets made use of it.
    Shakespeare implies here that the foreknowledge he has from the 'stars' of the youth's eyes surpasses that derived from traditional astrology. He asserts that truth and beauty are doomed forever unless the young man chooses to perpetuate his line by having children.

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  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/26/2014 5:54:00 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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