Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee
The opening line to Sonnet 18 is probably one of Shakespeare's most recognizable. Many interpret it as a love poem, as if he is complimenting a woman on her beauty, perhaps wooing her while strolling through a summer garden. But some scholars believe it's actually an ode to Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet, who died at age 11 -- one year before the poem was written. When read in that context, the lines take on the somber tone of a father coming to grips with the loss of a child who died in the summer of his life. Read this famous summer poem again from that angle and see if it doesn't make more sense.
The Armchair Squid, Cygnus, and Suze. They (and I) thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite summer songs as everyone kicks back during these lazy days. For anyone not off at the pool or on vacation, here are five of my favorite summer songs for your listening pleasure.
Long Hot Summer by The Style Council (1983)
One of my favs just for the lazy summer tempo, but…oh, dear, another bummer. The song is about screwing up at love.
Someone, Somewhere, In Summertime by Simple Minds (1982)
This one has been described as "a waltz through a mystical August haze." Nothing to do with our new smoking laws here in Colorado, I assure you.
1979 by Smashing Pumpkins (1996)
Not exactly a summer song per se, but it reminds me of my feral teen years, cruising the streets on summer nights with "the headlights pointed at the dawn."
Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft (1972)
Yes, this is on my list. And, sure, I'm dating myself here, but this was a huge hit when I was a kid. I'll always associate summer with this song. And the harmony has that perfect summer vibe.
Summertime sung by Ella Fitzgerald (1968)
Finally, I can't think of summer without this Porgy & Bess song running through my mind. For all the American Idol wannabes, this is how you do it.
Oh, and before I wish you all a great summer weekend, I need to thank Liz Blocker for bestowing upon me the Versatile Blogger award. I'm supposed to come up with seven things about myself that I think you might be interested in. Um…that is difficult to do after more than three years of blogging. Besides, you can tell a lot about a person by the poetry and music they choose to share. That's my theory anyways. :)
What song says summer to you? Any of these songs make your list? Ever heard that theory about sonnet 18?
Creative Commons photo of flowers by Alice Popkorn