Sonnet XVIII: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 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 ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
   So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Summer, Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love

Occasions Engagement, Anniversary, Weddings

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 William  Shakespeare

Biography

While William Shakespeare's reputation is based primarily on his plays, he became famous first as a poet. With the partial exception of the Sonnets (1609), quarried since the early nineteenth century for autobiographical secrets allegedly encoded in them, the nondramatic writings have traditionally been pushed to the margins of the Shakespeare industry. Yet the study of his nondramatic poetry can illuminate Shakespeare's . . .

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Poems by William Shakespeare

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Summer, Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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