More Sonnets

Monday, August 1st, ©2011 Marcus Brooks

In a previous post I admitted my secret shame: long ago, while young and foolish, I committed poetry. Now old and foolish, I am revisiting some of my old sonnets. My second sonnet was written as another rebuttal, this time to Shakespeare’s #130, which goes like this:

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 #130

To me, Shakespeare’s words didn’t seem very gallant, but then he was a poet, while I’m just a bag of words. (Apropos nothing, I was also surprised at first by the mention of wires, but structural wire might be handy in the theater, even then.) Whatever my reasons, this was my answer:

How often Bill and I are set at odds,
In thinking what is foul and what is fair!
He’d praise paired orbs of sunlight to the gods,
I, dappled green of hillsides—beauty rare!

Our verses question love with too much thought
Regarding eyes: brown, black, grey, green or blue.
Mute heart’s affection knows it matters not
Whose face is beautiful, but rather who.

The heart in love informs the mind, “that’s her,”
Without explaining why it thinks her fair.
The mind then conjures reasons to prefer
This woman, with whom beauties else to share:

Sun, coral, roses, snow, and perfume sweet,
Beautiful themselves, need not compete.

—Marcus Brooks #2

This was dedicated May 10, 1990, to the same Erica upon whom I afflicted my first sonnet.

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2 Responses to “More Sonnets”

  1. […] for the moment that we all have been waiting for, my last sonnet post! There are missing numbers: those were too bad to share. (Or too good.) You’re […]

  2. […] When I wrote that couplet, I was thinking about a girl; as men often do when they write couplets. But the indirect reference was to Sir Isaac Newton, who used to spend time in a darkened room, studying light. […]

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