Tuesday, March 8, 2011

falling in love all over again

I'm not sure if "kids these days" (can't believe i'm uttering these words myself) still learn about Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 in highschool for SPM but I really hope they do and I hope they appreciate it and have the ability to understand it and fully appreciate it as much as I didn't then. Back then I thought, "Oh yeah it's be Shakespeare I like it because it's by him and he's a famous English writer and I want to sound smart and cultured."

After reading it again tonight in my set of Shakespeare collection (which i only got for $40 from Borders with my dearest Edward Couper) I am ashamed of my immature behaviour in high school. I did not fully understand the beauty of this piece nor did i appreciate it for the right reason.

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 owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Read it out loud softly and slowly to yourself, as if you were reading it to someone you love. REad it as if you're not just reading a sonnet written by a 16th century writer but as yourself delivering sweet compliments and subtle love messages to your beloved. Notice how smooth and easy it is to read. it just flows from one sentence to the other and when all these sentences are pulled together you get a sonnet.

A sonnet is generally a fixed poem form consisting of 14 lines. Sonnet means "little song" and are short lyrical poems. The original form of sonnets are 14 lines with the first 8 lines arranged to the rhyme scheme of abba abba and then the final sextet with a rhyme of cdecde or simply cdcdcd. What Shakespeare has done was maintained the 14 line limit but introduced the simple yet satin-like rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef and gg the last two are called the closing rhymed heroic couplet. The final two lines makes a final statement and has to rhyme with each other. Overall not an easy task to write a sonnet let alone a captivating one that really hits home and as they say, home is where the heart is.

Conclusion: my thoughts on Shakespeare as a literature genius has never faltered but now I fully understand why he is a genius.

"So long lives this and this gives life to thee"- as long as your work continues to exist, you shall live forever