Ages & Sins 10: Lust

Pure lust, like pure alcohol, is dangerous. But alcohol-free gin is just flavoured water… selling for £30 a bottle! If I want invigorating water, I’ll stick my face in a cascading mountain stream. Is lust an acceptable aspect of love? Each quatrain of this sonnet explores a different side of the argument: lustless love is… Continue reading Ages & Sins 10: Lust

Ages & Sins 9: Greed

This is the first Love’s Sonnet sonnet to have contemporary (ish) quotes: “Greed is good” and “Loadsa money”. Both lines were intended to criticise the greed culture of the 1980s: both ended up being the celebrated catchphrases of those they intended to lambast. The problem with trying to impose a moral perspective, is that those… Continue reading Ages & Sins 9: Greed

Ages & Sins 8: Pride

Onto the second half of my ‘Ages and Sins’ collection… the seven deadly sins. According to my research, there is a generally accepted order: pride (or vainglory), greed, or covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony (which also includes drunkenness), wrath or anger, and sloth. So I’ll write a love-related sonnet in response to each, in that order.… Continue reading Ages & Sins 8: Pride

Ages & Sins 7: Second childishness

In my final response to Shakespeare’s ‘seven ages’ of man, this sonnet rejects the suggestion that decline in old age is “mere oblivion”. In a society that treasures “expressions of perfection”, it’s not surprising that we “shun” old age and cognitive decline. However, my capping couplet attests, that if Shakespeare’s “second childishness” is akin to… Continue reading Ages & Sins 7: Second childishness

Ages & Sins 6: Old Age

This sonnet explores the significance of love during Shakespeare’s “sixth age”. It is a response to the negative connotations in Jaques’ famous “All the world’s a stage” monologue. The themes of a “shrunk shrank”, “whistles” in the voice and “spectacles on nose” are positively interpreted. The first quatrain uses repeated prolepsis (the use of a… Continue reading Ages & Sins 6: Old Age

Ages & Sins 5: Judging

This sonnet explores the perspective of the “justice” from Shakespeare’s “seven ages of man”. Although this project is dedicated to love, to judge is the opposite of loving. This sonnet therefore pits judge against lover. To judge or not to judge, that is the question. The lover enjoys “foibles” whereas the judge “Delights in errors”.… Continue reading Ages & Sins 5: Judging

Ages & Sins 3: Starting Pistol

This is the third of seven sonnets based on Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man”: “the lover”. Shakespeare has his lover “sighing like furnace”; a forlorn figure writing “a woeful ballad”. I’ve created a more positive young lover – someone whose “racing heart” is set off by the “Starting Pistol” of a “track” race. This young “lover’s… Continue reading Ages & Sins 3: Starting Pistol

Ages & Sins 2: The Schoolchild’s Love

The second stage in Shakespeare’s “seven ages” of man is the “schoolboy”. Throughout my Love’s Sonnets series, I’ve attempted to make the ‘lover’ as gender neutral as possible so anyone can imagine they are the subject of each poem. Therefore, in this sonnet, we have the “schoolchild”. Over a schoolchild’s schoolyears, most mature from loving… Continue reading Ages & Sins 2: The Schoolchild’s Love