Tuesday Poem: Shakespeare’s 3rd Sonnet

Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose uneared womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother’s glass and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remembered not to be,
Die single and thine image dies with thee.

William Shakespeare

I’ve been re-reading the sonnets recently hence the post above. We have a fine sonnet tradition in Aotearoa too, including the fantastic collection by our new poet laureate, Ian Wedde, called Earthly Sonnets for Carlos.

Please check out my posting about Anna Jackson’s poem “Envelope” on the Tuesday Poem site here. It’s in her brilliant new collection Thicket (AUP 2011).

About Robert Sullivan

Robert Sullivan has written seven collections of poetry, coedited two anthologies of Polynesian poetry, written a retelling of Maori myths and legends for children called WEAVING EARTH AND SKY illustrated by Gavin Bishop, and a graphic novel MAUI LEGENDS OF THE OUTCAST illustrated by Chris Slane. He has won several NZ book awards, and had writers' residencies at the University of Auckland and the University of Hawai'i. As well as teaching, he directed the creative writing program at the University of Hawaii.
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