Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 5th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

The theme for February is love and what better way to start than with the poem regarded as one of the greatest love poems of all time, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. Four hundred years later Shakespeare’s sonnets are still surrounded by mystery and intrigue and maybe Shakespeare presented them to the world as puzzles which were never meant to be solved.

Apologies, in advance, but due to gremlins in the studio equipment the sound quality of the recording is lower than usual. Hopefully this will be rectified by next week.

If you have problems listening to the programme, a text version of Sonnet 18 is included after the sound bar.

To hear this week’s Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.



Sonnet 18.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


William Shakespeare.




Well Davy, could you choose better for this month – or any time for that matter. This poem is so famed across the world and makes us worried about writing our own.:) would you believe that we learnt this in school where I grew up ( Sweden ). Along with much else from Shakespeare.

Your show is great and the discussion very interesting.
p.s. I just had my birthday on 7th so I now find it was the perfect month.

Liked by 4 people

    Belated birthday wishes Miriam and hope you had a good day. I am glad you enjoy the show and appreciate your time and support with it. The comments provide me with lots of inspiration. It was strange because a few days after the show I found a book in a charity shop which was all about Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, who is believed to be the focus of the later sonnets. It contains a lot more info for a later show and there’s still another 153 sonnets to choose from 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Another great show Davy, it struck me when you talked about the constant academic obsession with Shakespeare, that it backs up the point we discussed about the ‘establishment’ driving and influencing the world of poetry. Academia claim the intellectual high ground and build their ‘fortress Shakespeare’ and the publishers keep the money machine rolling, limiting the art’s ability to organically grow and evolve, the opposite to that enjoyed by music.

Liked by 2 people

    A great point Nigel and I often wonder why Shakespeare was the focus of the empire, as opposed to many other writers and poets who, in my opinion, are worthy of such adoration. One of the things I am discovering doing the research for the show is how poetry was very much the domain of the educated and privileged. In the 17th and 18th Centuries you needed money for schooling and also access to publishing. Has this changed? especially now with the debt incurred for young people wanting to access University education. Many thoughts provoked again Nigel. Thank you and your intellectual challenges and support are greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

      I think like golf clubs and European hols poetry’s legacy was perhaps to have been seen as for the rich. But since the 60’s, beat poet’s, Mersey and imagist schools, punk have shaken the hallowed halls of academia, such that they’ve had to embrace them.

      Liked by 2 people

      I would think with gritted teeth Nigel. I am talking about The Mersey Sound on Poetic Beats next week.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Hearing that sonnet first thing in the morning has me walking on sunshine all day. The only thing more beautiful or equally as romantic, is Sonnet 116. You have sent a hug across the pond with this one and I am most grateful! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Lesley and it thrills me to hear that. I only hope I did the sonnet justice with the reading. Thank you for the link to Sonnet 116, and I loved the reading by Patrick Stewart. Hope your Valentines Day brings you all the love you wish for.

    Liked by 1 person

Yes, you read it beautifully. I felt like I was hearing it through the Bard’s voice. (With a little bit of George Harrison blended in. ) 😍

Liked by 2 people

What a perfect poem for the month! One of my favorites. As a fairly new listener, I just want to say I enjoy the show. I’m entertained, I learn something, and it sparks great discussions amongst your readers. All of which I can appreciate, so thank you for what you do. Hearing about next week’s show got a big smile out of me. Cannot wait!

Liked by 2 people

    Thank you Colleen, it pleases me to hear that and I appreciate your kind words. I hope you enjoy next weeks show. They are really good fun to do and having people like yourself giving up valuable time to listen and comment keeps the motivation high.

    Liked by 1 person

OH! I love this sonnet! Perfect for Valentine Day month! This sonnet always makes me smile AND get joy-tears in my eyes! 🙂 To hear you read it is such a joy, Davy! Thank you!

I always learn something from the discussion between you and Howard!
HUGS for you and Mrs. Davy D! 🙂

PS…Yikes! I hate to admit this, but I once blogged a silly poem I wrote about summer my version of Mr. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.

It was put up on my site on July 25, 2012. If the above link doesn’t work, you can go to my page and click on July 2012 in the Archives. Then, again, you might NOT want to read it! 😮

Liked by 2 people

A beautiful sonnet, indeed. Perfect selection for the Valentines Day month.

Liked by 2 people

Thank you for choosing this for the month of love! I especially love the last 2 lines, very romantic. I compare this and the other poets of his time to the new age poets on Instagram for example. I ponder about the time taken by either generation to craft their words. Who is the real poet? The one that sticks to format or the one that writes free verse? Is there grounds for comparison at all? I can appreciate both genres and form or no form read the poem with the intensity it was written. My thoughts anyway. your reading was excellent , a very warm and rich voice Davy so well suited for this sort of poetry.

Liked by 2 people

    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts Gina, they are greatly appreciated. I am like you, looking beyond the form and appreciating the meaning and emotion in the words. I think if we get too hung up about whether anything is free verse or sonnet etc can place barriers in our enjoyment of the poetry. For me it can be a mood thing. Some days I like to walk with Wordsworth on others I want the brutality of Bukowski.

    Liked by 1 person

      we are very spoiled for choice and yes the mood thing is very true, the gift of poetry is just that, for every man or woman, there will be one that speaks to heart on a certain day as we look for comfort and inspiration from words. Love the discourse on different poems and their effect on the soul. at my last poetry meet our topic on Angst ran to robots replacing humans and how we see technology in the future. you never know how a 17th century poem is going to affect a millennial! good sharing here all round Davy, I have enjoyed reading all your readers comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      That is an interesting thought Gina. I wonder if robots will ever write poetry. Maybe it has been done already?

      Liked by 1 person

      I’ll have to go back to some old episodes of the “Jetsons” to see if a stanza or haiku was created and quoted. If the evolution of androids become so sophisticated I am sure they will have that thinking process and capacity to feel emotions. I am thinking back to the movie “SHE”, a futuristic look at an online persona filling the gaps in a person’s life. Maybe a time will come when we have a real need of such robots to complement our lives. But this is totally digressing from your sonnet and the month of love, hope you got those flowers ordered Davy!

      Liked by 1 person

      Beyond flowers Gina. I wrote Mrs.D her own piece of poetry. On of the joys of being a writer (it saves money 🙂 ) I hope you get yours Gina (from Mr.G of course).

      Liked by 1 person

      awww…..that makes me float, a personal poem is the ultimate romantic gift. I am sure she was feeling extra special. Mr G was on assignment so I was serenaded over the phone. He doesn’t write but music is his hobby. he’s thrifty like you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      Mrs D calls it being a tight Northerner Gina. But I did splash out. I treated her to a premium seat at the cinema 🙂 Not as romantic as being serenaded on the phone though.

      Liked by 1 person

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