Sunday, 7 March 2010

Shakespeare's Sonnet Sunday: Sonnet 9

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye,
That thou consum'st thy self in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind:
Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.

If one reads through this poem, by now, you should recognize that it's also about procreating.

1) Are you afraid to make a widow cry?
2) That you waste away in singleness?
3) Ah! If you happen to die without children,
4) The world will mourn as if it were your wife;
5) It will be your widow and weep.
6) Because you left no children behind,
7) Rather than leave your widow
8) a child that she could keep her husband's form and image in mind.
9) Whatever you spend in the world, money and things,
10) Will just circulate and the world can enjoy it for many years...
11) But beauty will come to an end
12) And if you don't create more beautiful creatures, eventually it will be gone forever.
13) You have no love towards others
14) If you keep all chances of producing an heir to yourself.


Mason Canyon said...

I enjoy Shakespeare even though it does take a little time to understand what he's saying. Always enjoy your take on it, thanks.

Eeleen Lee said...

love this sonnet although the meaning is rather nebulous

Ann Elle Altman said...

Yes, it can be confusing but I am learning so much from this study.