Poetry Corner: Shakespeare's Sonnet 52

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So am I as the rich, whose blessed key 
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey, 
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare, 
Since, seldom coming, in the long year set, 
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are, 
Or captain jewels in the carcanet. 
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide, 
To make some special instant special blest, 
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride. 
   Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
   Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.

I think the main reason this sonnet appealed to me is because I am a savorer -- I like things to last. If a book is amazing, I don't want to finish it -- I'll cut down to a few pages a day because I don't want it to end. I could relate to the metaphor of the rich man not surveying his treasure constantly due to the desire to keep it a rare and special pleasure. And I think this idea does translate well into love -- while I am always happy to be with my husband, I definitely appreciate and crave his company more when I have been away from him all day. I love the image of moments with the poet's love being placed in a chest as jewels carefully preserved, to be looked at only on special occasions but dreamt of and savored always. 


  1. I agree with you - we cherish the things we don't have constantly more than those we enjoy all the time.

    1. I guess it is just human nature -- we always want what we can't have.

  2. Lovely sonnet. I like your interpretation. :-)


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