February 14, 2013
Rivals in Poetry and Love

Our guest writer today is the Bard, William Shakespeare. His plays feature many rivals, from Romeo and Tybalt to Helena and Hermia.

 

In this sonnet, the rival is any man with better luck or more talent. Yet, the rival lacks one thing – “thy sweet love.” A happy thought for Valentine’s Day!

 

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,

Featur’d 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 my self almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, 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.

In February and March, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “rivalry,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme.

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