How many sylablles are in "Perceiv'st"?

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EL237

I contend that the word "perceiv'st" has three sylablles, making the second to last line ("This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong")(103) have eleven sylablles, which means Shakespeare broke form, and thus failed to write a sonnet. At very least, swapping a v'w'l f'r 'n 'p'str'ph', in order to reduce sylablles is kind of a cheap, shameless tactic. (especially when there are tons of shorter synonyms available for use.)

That said I will certainly keep that tactic in mind as soon as I have to write a sonnet in poetry class (I am not at all above the use of cheap and shameless tactics).

Overall, I'm unimpressed by this poem, like many sonnets. Yes, I see that most things go away, so we love them more, but I guess I didn't really need a poem evoking three seperate images to tell me that. That might just be me, as I was one of the few kids who felt that Sam-I-Am should probably just leave the speaker alone after the first stanza, as he seemed quite resolute in his refusal of green eggs and ham. I really have no need for elaboration of simple ideas, even if one can almost put it into the form of a sonnet.

4 Comments

Brooke Kuehn said:

I have never been a fan of Shakespeare. His writing is confusing and i always think to myself, just get to the point! However, i kind of liked this poem, well lets just say i could tolerate it. Im curious though, how did you interpret the poem? I mean i saw it as a narrator looking back on his loss of innocence; whereas, Jess saw it as more of a love story. What did you think?

DavidWilbanks Author Profile Page said:

I saw it overall as ambiguous. There are three clear metaphores for loss/fading/death/general transience: Winter overtaking autumn, The setting of the sun, and the burning out of a fire. this is followed up with a cryptic couplet, about loving stuff becasue it's leaving. It really could mean anything, so I think most interpretations are valid; growing older, leaving a loved one (through death or otherwise), or just a general suggestion to appreciate the things you have before they leave. I don't really think there is anything incredibly specific to make the poem favor one of the interpretations. While this makes it a good one to write about, it kinda turns me off of it. Maybe I tend to torture poems for their meanings a bit, but I like to have some sort of revelation, where I decided "aha, I know what its about." This poem seems to have a really overt general idea, which one could interpret to mean multiple more specific things. That bothers me, I guess because it seems almost as if it never meant anything really specific to its author, which to me indicates a lack of dedication, and general sloppiness (It's what I do if a deadline is approaching and I need a poem for a class).

Brooke Kuehn said:

I see what you mean about having a revelation when you read a poem. I am the same way. If a poem has no meaning or importance to me, i could care less about it. I guess fortunately for me though, i did have a revelation with this poem. Whether or not i am right, i will never know. Well thanks for responding despite your dislike of it! lol

DavidWilbanks Author Profile Page said:

As well as getting the revelation, its important for me to care about it. If determining what a poem says, and I think "So?" then it's equally dissatisfying.

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