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Featured Poem: Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

Written by Harriet Eakin, 9th June 2014

With only 3 days until the first performance of Much Ado About Nothing at Calderstones Garden Theatre, everybody here at The Reader Organisation has been turning their attention to William Shakespeare. It seems therefore only fitting to focus on one of Shakespeare’s poems this week, and I have chosen one of his most famous Sonnets, number 116.


The sonnet attempts to define ideal love, as something powerful and everlasting, unaffected even by time. The line ‘Love’s not Time’s fool’ stands out to me, and it suggests that many aspects of life are affected by time, yet a strong emotion like love has the power to hold its own.


Much Ado About Nothing also tells the tale of love, as it portrays two love stories between Hero and Claudio, and Beatrice and Benedick. We look forward to seeing you at the Globe performances at Calderstones this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For now, I hope you enjoy this week’s poem.


Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove: 
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wandering bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
   If this be error and upon me proved, 
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

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