Friday, September 18, 2009

Help Needed!!!

Say What William Shakespeare?

I've always wanted to be able to read and UNDERSTAND Shakespeare, but alas that just hasn't happened. Someone left The Sonnets in my drop box at school and I thought it was lovely so I brought it home. The only problem......I'm not sure what Will is trying to say!! So I thought it would be fun to post a Sonnet a few times a month and to ask YOU to help explain them to me.

Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decrease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to they sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To east the world's due, by the grave and thee.

So fellow friends what did he just say?


  1. I wish I could help you out, but I haven't a clue! It is beautiful though.

  2. I thought I was getting it at first....but I was off....HOWEVER COMMA, I love ME some GOOGLE....and this is what I found for U......TOTALLY BROKE THIS DOWN for ME! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Umm something about being young and beautiful and then as time passes getting riper and decaying LMAO I actually have no idea, can you tell poetry aint my strong point.

  4. Beauty is brief and passing, but the object of the poem is either hiding or ignoring hers, and thus wasting it.

  5. I was going to say you should google it but I see that Julie did it for you :D

    There's an award waiting for you at my blog. Come pick it up!

  6. Okay, so I really have no right to be judging here, as I honestly can't be sure what the heck he said...but my feeling is that the dude's focused far too much on looks here. ;)

  7. Wanting to remain young and beautiful forever, we admire the youth as our own begins to fade.

    The object of the poem, although beautiful on the outside, seems self-absorbed and unaware...... it seems a waste.

    There, that's my story (from someone who usually finds Shakespeare a real challenge). He makes a little more sense as I get older.

    Will have to check out the notes link.

    Great idea, Staci! Shakes out the cobwebs.

  8. I am the wrong person to ask about this!

  9. Be forever young cause getting old sucks!
    Why did this make me think of vampires? Too many vampires!
    To me Shakespeare is all about the lyrical cadence of his writing, not necessarily about the meaning. More of a feeling I guess. But then a lot of poetry is like that.
    Great idea, hope you continue to do this.

  10. I think it's about oatmeal. There's that line about "sweet self too cruel" which is obviously a misspelling of "sweet self too gruel" because then he goes on to say "or else this glutton be." So it seems to me that it might be the first admonition to cut the use of sugar in food.

  11. Ooh, I love this feature! I took the most wonderful Shakespeare class in college...wish I could go back and take it again, it was so good. My professor would make us read it aloud, since the plays were meant to be read that way, instead of on the page. It helped us to understand it a lot better...

    Everyone beat me to the punch on the translation, though. I agree with the above. :)

  12. Great idea! I hope I always check in after the smart kids have answered the question!

  13. Hey Staci I just wanted to tell you that I have an award for you:

  14. I don't really know but I would guess he's telling us to appreciate our youth before we reach the grave?

  15. I really enjoyed this post. I didn't want to look it up, I think it's more fun to try and figure it out myself. But it's why I don't want to try to tackle a Shakespeare novel I haven't read. It was fine in school with someone who could explain it.

  16. no clue but gosh his writing is fantastic!


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