William Shakespeare's 'Sonnet 73' is one of his most widely read poems. In this lesson, you'll learn what it's all about, what some of the big ideas are in the poem and how he goes about presenting those ideas. Then you'll have the chance to test your understanding with a quiz.The Poem
In 'Paint it Black,' the Rolling Stones sang, 'I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky. I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black.' Mick Jagger wasn't the first guy to express thoughts of death by using the color black or mentioning a disappearing sun. You see, William Shakespeare did it over 300 years before him in 'Sonnet 73.' Shakespeare's poem uses three major metaphors for death, but he surprises the reader in the end by flipping this gloomy poem into one about love.
Before we analyze 'Sonnet 73,' let's read through it.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the West,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long