Sonnet 130

I’m not going to lie: I was shocked. Saying William Shakespeare has had a huge literary influence on me on my About-page and then only posting one sonnet of his? Quite frankly, an outrage. To make it up to myself (it’s getting really meta here), I decided it’s time for number 130. A satire on the conventions of courtly love and an ode to loving your partner because of his or her imperfection. Because I’m not perfect either. Clearly.

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 damasked, 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.

William Shakespeare


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