Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sonnet Sunday: Shakespeare 138

I haven't done a Sonnet Sunday post since May! National Poetry Month in April exhausted my lust for iambic pentameter, but I think it's time again. After all, we only have three months to prepare ourselves for NPM festivities. I'm coercing the literary society into performing "Random Acts of Poetry" on campus. I knew there were benefits to being president, besides my new nickname- "She who must be obeyed."
So, for your reading pleasure, Sonnet 138 by William Shakespeare:
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust,
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.


  1. This is one of my favorites, too.
    Although... almost all of them are ;).

  2. The great mind of Shakespeare...if he were here today I wonder what works he would bestow upon us. This sonnet- his play on words or rather the attributes of humans and social on-goings are still present today-and fascinating. If I could assign a fairly modern song to go with this sonnet it would be: Break up to Make up by the Stylistics.

  3. That's one of the things I love about Shakespeare, his inventive and playful way with words.
    Hmm... an on again, off again relationship, I can see the connection to the song.
    I read it a bit differently, personally, as a person in the midst of a relationship that they both know is unhealthy and possibly destructive, but they both still stay in it and maintain a sort of facade of normalcy. They pretend that they don't know that the relationship won't last.