Sunday, July 31, 2011

Poetry Summer Week 10: Shakespeare's Sonnet CXXX

Well, last week was easy, and, since I'm running out of ideas for poems to memorize, I've decided to follow Dan's theme for this week and memorize a Shakespearean sonnet.

This is one of the fun sonnets, very tongue-in-cheek. It talks about a mistress, but I like to compare it to my WIP. Try it. Substitute "novel" or "characters" for "mistress" as you read.

Sonnet CXXX
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
It's not easy to take a step back and realize your novel isn't perfect, but you can love the poor flawed thing, anyway, right?

What do you do when your WIP isn't perfect? Do you abandon it? Edit it again?


  1. Are they ever perfect? Even Rowling, during a reading, paused and said she'd had phrased that differently now.

  2. I'm at the point where I thought I was done, and was about to start querying... now I hate my first stinking page. I'm all ready to start revising, and one of my beta readers says my climx is confusing, while another said it was absolutely gripping, and another said it was too long. It makes me want to pull my hair out. Sometimes, I think it will never be finished. I don't think perfection is obtainable... at least something that will be perfect in everyone's eyes.

  3. I did this, too! I decided I was done and started researching agents--but asked two faithful betas to read it fast one-more-time, just to be sure. Yeah... no.

    Fortunately, they agreed with each other. Unfortunately, they were both right, and I needed another edit.

    My first chapter (and especially my first page) has been through so many contests (and rewrites), it's ridiculous. I still haven't won any, but the current first page is making the finals, so I'm guessing that's close enough! :)

  4. Good luck! It seems really original!