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

Three sonnets for Shakespeare’s birthday

Both his birth and death are especially fitting

  • IV
  • Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
  • Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy?
  • Nature’s bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
  • And being frank she lends to those are free.
  • Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
  • The bounteous largess given thee to give?
  • Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
  • So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
  • For having traffic with thyself alone,
  • Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
  • Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
  • What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
  • Thy unused beauty must be tomb’d with thee,
  • Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.
  • V
  • Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
  • The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
  • Will play the tyrants to the very same
  • And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
  • For never-resting time leads summer on
  • To hideous winter and confounds him there;
  • Sap cheque’d with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
  • Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where:
  • Then, were not summer’s distillation left,
  • A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
  • Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
  • Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
  • But flowers distill’d though they with winter meet,
  • Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.
  • VI
  • Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface
  • In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill’d:
  • Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
  • With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-kill’d.
  • That use is not forbidden usury,
  • Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
  • That’s for thyself to breed another thee,
  • Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
  • Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
  • If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
  • Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,
  • Leaving thee living in posterity?
  • Be not self-will’d, for thou art much too fair
  • To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), a poet who needs no introduction on a poetry page, was (needless to say) the greatest writer of English verse — and one of the greatest poets of any language — to put pen to paper. According to historical records, Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, but to bestow on his biography the same symmetry with which he imbued his sonnets and his plays, most historians have accepted his birth and death on the same day, 52 years apart — April 23. Although his day of birth was based on an 18th-century mistake in scholarship, this date marking both his birth and death is especially fitting on the grave marker of England’s greatest poet, as it is also the day on which England celebrates its patron saint – St. George.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

From John Berryman’s “Eleven Addresses to the Lord”

He, like Robert Lowell, was considered a key poet of the “confessional” school of poetry
  • IV
  • Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
  • Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy?
  • Nature’s bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
  • And being frank she lends to those are free.
  • Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
  • The bounteous largess given thee to give?
  • Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
  • So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
  • For having traffic with thyself alone,
  • Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
  • Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
  • What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
  • Thy unused beauty must be tomb’d with thee,
  • Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.
  • V
  • Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
  • The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
  • Will play the tyrants to the very same
  • And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
  • For never-resting time leads summer on
  • To hideous winter and confounds him there;
  • Sap cheque’d with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
  • Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where:
  • Then, were not summer’s distillation left,
  • A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
  • Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
  • Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
  • But flowers distill’d though they with winter meet,
  • Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.
  • VI
  • Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface
  • In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill’d:
  • Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
  • With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-kill’d.
  • That use is not forbidden usury,
  • Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
  • That’s for thyself to breed another thee,
  • Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
  • Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
  • If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
  • Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,
  • Leaving thee living in posterity?
  • Be not self-will’d, for thou art much too fair
  • To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), a poet who needs no introduction on a poetry page, was (needless to say) the greatest writer of English verse — and one of the greatest poets of any language — to put pen to paper. According to historical records, Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, but to bestow on his biography the same symmetry with which he imbued his sonnets and his plays, most historians have accepted his birth and death on the same day, 52 years apart — April 23. Although his day of birth was based on an 18th-century mistake in scholarship, this date marking both his birth and death is especially fitting on the grave marker of England’s greatest poet, as it is also the day on which England celebrates its patron saint – St. George.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Three female opera singers you should know and love

I remember thinking that I would spend my entire life savings, go into debt, and travel halfway around the world
Next Article

Been to Guatay, Buckman Springs, La Posta, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Bankhead Springs?

Warner Springs' tragic Indians and modern in-fighting, Jacumba's vanished dreams, odd place on the border
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close