Life is brief, art is long

At a Christmas party a couple of years ago, I received a lovely Dover paperback edition of Shakespeare's Complete Sonnets in the gift exchange. There are 154 sonnets in the collection. Controversy has raged for centuries now as to the identities of the "dark lady" and the "lovely boy" to whom most of the sonnets are addressed, as well as the mysterious "W. H." to whom the work is dedicated.

Shakespeare's brilliant excursion into the form took place during the sonnet craze that swept England in the late 1500s. Wikipedia has an excellent entry on the subject.

I thought I'd read one from time to time, or any poetry, selected more or less at random, and post it here.

In Sonnet 63, like several others, Shakespeare envisions the loss of his love's beauty to the ravages of time. In some of the sonnets, he urges his lover to marry and sire offspring so that his beauty may, through blood and lineage at least, be preserved. In others, and more poignantly perhaps, he reaches for the power of art, the written word, to trump time's inevitable triumph over the flesh. Space is the lovers' friend, Nabakov once wrote, time their enemy.