Sonnet 145: Those Lips That Love's Own Hand Did Make

Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said "I hate"
To me that languished for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
"I hate" she altered with an end,
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away.
"I hate" from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying "not you."

by William Shakespeare

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******** This is the only sonnet of the 154 which is not written in the usual iambic pentameter (verses of five feet consisting of a short followed by a long syllable) but of the more jerky iambic tetrameter, or octosyllabic verse, which is thought to be more appropriate for epigrammatic and comic verse. It is a sonnet that is not highly regarded, being thought of as rather trivial, and most commentators would prefer to discard it. It has been suggested** that it might be a piece of juvenilia, written in 1582, which Shakespeare subsequently adapted to fit in with the sonnets. This involves a pun on Anne Hathaway in line 13, and possibly another pun, (suggested by Booth) in line 14, 'Anne saved my life'. (SB.p.501) . _ _ %
In 1582 he was only 18 years old, had just contracted what was probably a shotgun marriage with Anne Hathaway, was still living in Stratford, knew little of London and the literary set, and yet (we are asked to believe) was able to write a poem which anticipated the language of Sidney's Astrophel and Stella by at least nine years. For it is important to remember that the sonnet tradition did not really begin to flourish until after the posthumous publication of Sidney's work in 1591, which produced a flood of emulative literature.
This sonnet resembles more in tone one of the songs that Sidney interspersed among the sequence of 108 sonnets addressed to Stella. They are mostly of a light and skittish mood, and the lightness of this sonnet 145 is probably deliberate, placed here to offset the seriousness of 144, and the weightiness of 146. probably Shakespeare absorbed the tradition mostly through the English sonnet writers of the 1590's from Sidney onwards, and not ten years earlier in the rural market town of Stratford. If the puns are insisted upon, it is always possible that Shakespeare sent off this sonnet to his wife when he was writing the other ones, to assure her that all was well. The other sonnets were hardly such as to promote marital concord, and one wonders how she might have responded to their publication in 1609. The pun of line 14 'Anne saved my life' could equally apply to the dark lady, if her name was Anne.
The intimate knowledge Shakespeare had of Sidney's work may be gauged from the following, taken from Antony and Cleopatra, written by Shakespeare c.1606-7, a period when he might have been revising the sonnets. Cleopatra is anxious to be told anything and everything of Antony's whereabouts. O Charmian, Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he? Or does he walk? or is he on his horse? .......... He's speaking now, Or murmuring, 'Where's my serpent of old Nile? ', For so he calls me. AC.I.5.18-20. shakespeares-sonnets.com/
Awesome I like this poem, check mine out
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