William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet Cxxx - Poem by William Shakespeare

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 damask'd, 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.


Comments about Sonnet Cxxx by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 8:19:00 AM)

    To Elizabethan readers, Shakespeare's comparison of hair to 'wires' would refer to the finely-spun gold threads woven into fancy hair nets. Many poets of the time used this term as a benchmark of beauty
    [Sonnet 130. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Shakespeare Online.8 Dec.2008] (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 8:18:00 AM)

    In Sonnet 130, there is no use of grandiose metaphor or allusion; he does not compare his love to Venus, there is no evocation to Morpheus, etc. The ordinary beauty and humanity of his lover are important to Shakespeare in this sonnet, and he deliberately uses typical love poetry metaphors against themselves.

    But Shakespeare ends the sonnet by proclaiming his love for his mistress despite her lack of adornment, so he does finally embrace the fundamental theme in Petrarch's sonnets: total and consuming love. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (1/5/2016 8:16:00 AM)

    Sonnet 130 is the poet's pragmatic tribute to his uncomely mistress, commonly referred to as the dark lady because of her dun complexion. The dark lady, who ultimately betrays the poet, appears in sonnets 127 to 154. Sonnet 130 is clearly a parody of the conventional love sonnet, made popular by Petrarch (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani Brian Jani (4/26/2014 10:09:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: red, snow, music, heaven, sun, love, sonnet, rose



Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001

Poem Edited: Friday, May 18, 2001


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