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  • Writer's pictureMichael Curzan

Sonnets and Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Sonnets 5 and 6:

Time is both a blessing and a curse, for it both raises us up at the start and tears us down at the end. The spring with all its flowers and trees abounding with fruit and leaves, eventually warms into summer, which then ripens into autumn. And past that point comes the decline, when the frost creeps in at the edges until one by one, all the plants shed their leaves and freeze up, their branches and stems sticking out bare, like skeletons in the snow. There is no trace of what it used to be, save for the mere leafless frames of the trees and the fallen leaves, rotting below the ground. And the icicles form, like the sharp fingers of some frost giant, reaching down from the branches. Yet still, under all the snow and cold, in the hearts of the trees and in the roots below the soil, the essence of the plants live on despite it all. In a similar fashion, mankind is born as a child, and then grows into an adult, and finally succumbs to old age.

Yet, even as a single body deteriorates, there is a remedy. It can make more of itself, which, like it did, begin as children. In this way, a man can have descendants which are younger, and they can have descendants also, which in turn are younger still. By this means, if the original should die and be entombed within the ground with the worms, there will still be younger versions of him or her, which can carry on the same qualities of their ancestor into the new tomorrow.

To stand between the water and the sand,

To walk upon the threshold of the tide,

On one side roaring ocean, while the land

Lies firmly resting on the other side.

The waves rise up their path so often tread,

And soak the nearby sand as they go past,

Until they reach their peak and fade instead,

Returning to the mother sea at last.

And overhead the sky spans sea and ground.

The sun is pouring down its golden heat.

Its image in the water can be found,

And, shining, warms the shoreline under feet.

‘Tis true! It is a wondrous place to be,

Right at the boundary of not two, but three.

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