Exploring Various Sonnets Essay

1076 words - 4 pages

Poetry is a beautiful manner to express emotions, successfully accomplished by some of the finest writers in history. Best said by Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Infinite pieces of art have been created on love; life and death yet only some leave behind a mark. The never-ending pursuit to express the intense emotion of love is practiced best by Shakespeare in Sonnet 116 and Sonnet 130. The ageless essence of love is explored in Sonnet 116 while Sonnet 130 is an enchanting poem about the unrealistic expectations of beauty in love. However, with love comes tragedy. Projected beautifully in the poems “Death Be Not Proud” and “When I have Fears that I may Cease to be.” John Donne uses personification to bravely address the unsettling powers of Death, while, Keats in When I have Fears that I may Cease to be recognizes Death as an untimely nuisance taking captive his future accomplishments. Life is explored in What Lips My Lips Have Kissed by Edna Millay along with The World is too much with us by William Wordsworth composed this poem as an admirer of nature living in a materialistic world whereas, What Lips My Lips Have Kissed travels with a withered woman ruminating her past; two unrelated experiences yet a part of life. Poems abundant in passion, as such, helps convey difficult sentiments through words.

Ordinary beauty and compassion is of great importance to Shakespeare in Sonnet 130. He discards the customary metaphors and embellishment of conventional beauty and describes his mistress as a perfectly imperfect being. He disregards the accepted forms of splendor for she is nothing like it; her “eyes nothing like the sun,” coral is far redder than her lips, her skin “dun” and unattractive and her hair “wiry” and black. He’s seen roses, “red and white,” her cheeks lacking that rosy glow, her fetor breath incomparable to perfumes. Although he loves to hear her speak, it is not a dulcet tone that of music and she is not a goddess as she “treads” while she walks. Despite the numerous flaws, the speaker affirms his “love as rare” as any other woman “belied with false compare” as the absurd traditional expectancy of beauty does not apply to the one you love. Sonnet 116 is a paradigmatic love poem about unyielding endearment. As claimed by the author, love is persistent, “an ever-fixed mark” that does not “alter when it alteration finds,” the test of time. Shakespeare uses personification to address true love as a lighthouse, “an ever-fixed mark”, unnerved by the coming dangers of a storm; it guides the lost ships, as it is like the North Star. The value of love is fathomless although it’s “height be taken,” immeasurable. Although beauty might come and go, love is immortal, not at the mercy of time. Love is truly boundless bearing even to the “edge of doom.” Shakespeare confidently ends the classic poem challenging one, if love truly is bound by the supremacy of time,...

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