The current selection of sonnets takes a much more romantic turn than any of the previous poems. These seem much more like the sonnets I was imagining before starting this journey: romantic, adoring, inspiring, and totally cheesy.
Sonnet 26 – The speaker is telling his love that he is writing this poem to show his duty is to his beloved. He’s not very bright, so it’s hard for him to express himself fully, and so he’s not going to make an ass of himself and write full-on love poetry. Instead, until he can express himself right, he’s going to leave it at this. I can’t help but notice he’s expressing himself incredibly well with this sonnet and even doing some fun imagery stuff with the idea of clothes and words showing someone in their best form. The more I think about this poem, the deeper it gets. In the immortal words of Macklemore, “there’s layers to this shit, player/Tiramisu, tiramisu”.
Sonnet 27 – The speaker talks of coming home after a long day of physical toil and being unable to rest because he’s dreaming of his love, the only light in the darkness of his mind and the night. This poem reminded me of the terrible pickup line that goes something like, you must be tired from running through my dreams all night. Incidentally, I think I must have misunderstood that line originally, because when I hear it I always think of Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street running from Freddy Krueger in her dream.
Sonnet 28 – More of the night and day business here. The speaker says he feels oppressed during the day and at night and can get no rest. The day sees him hard at work in physical toil, while at night he is alone with his grief over his beloved’s absence. This poem feels like a direct continuation from the last one to me. In a good way.
Sonnet 29 – Here’s where the cheese factor really starts to ramp up. This poem finds our speaker thinking about how he often starts to feel less than and apart from the world. So much so that he begins to covet the lives of those around him who seem to have it all. This is a form of mental torture for our speaker, but then he thinks of his beloved and how much their love is a balm to him and he feels right with the world. Awww…
Sonnet 30 – This one feels very relatable to me. The speaker talks about how he starts thinking about regrets and mistakes he’s made throughout his life. I can easily envision our speaker lying awake at night, kicking himself over some dumb thing he said to Rachel Tanner in the fourth grade when he was trying to ask her to go with him to fall carnival and ended up panicking and telling her he hoped she didn’t go at all… You know, that kind of generic thing. The speaker can get so wrapped up in remembering these things that it’s like he is reliving them all over, tormenting himself endlessly. But of course, he thinks of his beloved and it cheers him right the hell up. The end.
I know I’ve been making fun of the corniness of this set of poems, but I really did enjoy them. I have a soft spot for a good love poem. It seems classic, in a comforting way. And it turns out Shakespeare can write a pretty good love poem.