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A pair of sonnets by William Shakespeare and Jennifer Reeser for Valentine’s Day

Sonnet 130 (Shakespeare) and Sonnet 4 from Sonnets from the Dark Lady (Jennifer Reeser)

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
  • Sonnet 130
  • My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; 
  • 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 (1864-1616) is considered the greatest English poet – and perhaps one of the greatest poets of any language – to put pen to paper. The general reading public usually demonstrates an increased interest in his work, especially his sonnets on love, around Valentine’s Day.

  • Sonnet 4 from Sonnets from the Dark Lady
  • “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun…”
  • Milord makes rare parade of his emotions.
  • Completing undertakings at the pew,
  • No braggart sagas follow his devotions;
  • His myths are masked, reported visions few.
  • Inviting me to drink but not to dance,
  • He sheds no tears departing from my bed.
  • He has one sole, uninterrupted glance.
  • I have for faith the sacrificed unsaid.
  • Many a diva gets her burning word,
  • Chocolate oblations brandied, blessed, hot-toddied.
  • I have for heat the hidden and unheard,
  • An incandescent, backwards disembodied,
  • And would – for naught and nothing – make a trade
  • For pageants staged within him, well-displayed.
Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser is a poet, critic, and a translator of French and Russian literature. Her sonnet in response to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 appeared in her 2012 volume Sonnets from the Dark Lady & Other Poems. Her most recent book is Indigenous: Poems (Able Muse Press, 2018).

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William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
  • Sonnet 130
  • My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; 
  • 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 (1864-1616) is considered the greatest English poet – and perhaps one of the greatest poets of any language – to put pen to paper. The general reading public usually demonstrates an increased interest in his work, especially his sonnets on love, around Valentine’s Day.

  • Sonnet 4 from Sonnets from the Dark Lady
  • “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun…”
  • Milord makes rare parade of his emotions.
  • Completing undertakings at the pew,
  • No braggart sagas follow his devotions;
  • His myths are masked, reported visions few.
  • Inviting me to drink but not to dance,
  • He sheds no tears departing from my bed.
  • He has one sole, uninterrupted glance.
  • I have for faith the sacrificed unsaid.
  • Many a diva gets her burning word,
  • Chocolate oblations brandied, blessed, hot-toddied.
  • I have for heat the hidden and unheard,
  • An incandescent, backwards disembodied,
  • And would – for naught and nothing – make a trade
  • For pageants staged within him, well-displayed.
Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser is a poet, critic, and a translator of French and Russian literature. Her sonnet in response to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 appeared in her 2012 volume Sonnets from the Dark Lady & Other Poems. Her most recent book is Indigenous: Poems (Able Muse Press, 2018).

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