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Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare     As any she belied with false compare.

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) wrote his sonnets over a period of eight years — between 1593 and 1601. The first published edition of them appeared in 1609 and consisted of 154 poems. The Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains and a final rhymed couplet, all in iambic pentameter, with occasional metrical substitutions. This sonnet, number 130, is one of those addressed to the woman who has come to be known as “the dark lady of the sonnets.” Its clever refusal to follow the poetic convention of typical love poetry, which insists that the speaker’s beloved is more beautiful than anything in the natural world or any other creature who ever lived, gives this poem much of its charm and humor and accounts for it being among Shakespeare’s most admired sonnets.

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Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare     As any she belied with false compare.

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) wrote his sonnets over a period of eight years — between 1593 and 1601. The first published edition of them appeared in 1609 and consisted of 154 poems. The Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains and a final rhymed couplet, all in iambic pentameter, with occasional metrical substitutions. This sonnet, number 130, is one of those addressed to the woman who has come to be known as “the dark lady of the sonnets.” Its clever refusal to follow the poetic convention of typical love poetry, which insists that the speaker’s beloved is more beautiful than anything in the natural world or any other creature who ever lived, gives this poem much of its charm and humor and accounts for it being among Shakespeare’s most admired sonnets.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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