When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time`s waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unus,d to flow,

For precious friends hid in deaths dateless night,

And weep afresh love`s long since cancell`d woe,

And moan the expense of many a vanish`d sight:

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o`er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor`d and sorrows end.

~~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 30 ~~


We are told that art makes one conscious of complexity and beauty, and none seems to pay heed to this more than Shakespeare: Sonnet 30 is a sad yet thoughtful dissection of recollection of the past and things done, and regret at others which remain undone. This poem is deceptively harmonic, lulling and pleasurable, but possesses a devastating and complex emotional punch to the mind.

The poem begins by calmly and peacefully sensitizing the reader before it hits with explosive force as memories long buried by emotional grief, are dredged to the surface and the pain of past heartache violently erupt into the present, sharpening the acute sense of loss which had dulled over the years.

The poet realizes that he is wasting precious time needlessly living in the past: Shakespeare`s Richard III had said that…..“What`s done cannot be undone,” and so time would be better spent in thinking of more joyous thoughts in the here and now, and for the future. For even though the sum of his friend`s loss was greater than all the poet had sought but did not find, the past is gone and cannot be unmade.

Don`t allow the sadness for the loss of a friend to eat away your soul, but forever be joyful at having known and loved so deeply.

Richard was right……….The future is for the living to make of it what they will; the past cannot be changed. Only the dead exist there. We should always remember, but move on, or drown in bitter memories.

It`s better to have loved than not have loved at all………………”


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