Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
with what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee and then my state
Like to the lark at break of day arising
Sings hymns at heaven’s gate.
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
(The punctuation is incorrect because I typed it from memory. I then checked it against the official punctuation but I was so proud of myself for typing it from memory that I couldn’t bear to correct it.)
Why I Love This Poem:
Because it shows that even when life is at its worst, maybe somebody loves you and that makes it better a little. I find it makes it better a lot.
More Stuff About This Poem:
When I teach my students about meter in poetry, I use this as an example of iambic pentameter aka the natural English meter (as opposed to, say, Latin or Greek meter). I recite it with ridiculous emphasis on the meter, and then also more naturally. They vary from frightened to awed. I guess those two things aren’t that far apart, though, are they?
I hope it’s germane to write at length about one’s choice for Poetry Friday. If it’s not, I’ll probably keep doing it anyway. Sorry, internet.