Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 18: Translation to modern English


Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? You are more lovely and more moderate: Harsh winds disturb the delicate buds of May, and summer doesn’t last long enough. Sometimes the sun is too hot, and its golden face is often dimmed by clouds. All beautiful things eventually become less beautiful, either by the experiences of life or by the passing of time. But your eternal beauty won’t fade, nor lose any of its quality. And you will never die, as you will live on in my enduring poetry. As long as there are people still alive to read poems this sonnet will live, and you will live in it.


See other Shakespeare sonnets in modern English >>

Download ebook of all 152 Shakespeare sonnets in modern English >>

18 replies
  1. Adithya
    Adithya says:

    shakespeare is my favorite poet his way of expressing him self and that too with such simplicity . every bit of the lines he says just made me love him . who else can say such delicate feelings through such simplicity. there is no one else i can compare you to.

    Reply
  2. the one who hunts alone
    the one who hunts alone says:

    it is not true. it is for a girl!!!!!!!!!
    William Shakespeare wrote a few sonnets for girls and what life was like in england

    Reply
    • Nick
      Nick says:

      No, most of Shakespeare’s Sonnet’s were actually written to William Herbet, his boyfriend. Sonnet’s 1-about 80 are all to William Herbert, and from about 80 and up are all to an unknown woman. Shakespeare was Bi sexual.

      Reply
      • Lola Baden
        Lola Baden says:

        Actually it is believed this was written for a man whom Shakespeare was in love with. The first 126 sonnets are believed to be written for a man. The rest are for a woman who was not his wife

        Reply
  3. devil14
    devil14 says:

    it is the most romantic thing i have ever heard shakespeare knew what is was talking about !! i can only imange what a lucky person that shakespeare wrote in this sonnet !! :’D

    Reply
  4. ZartS
    ZartS says:

    hey guys
    just wanted to point out a secret in the real poem.
    on lines 11 and 12, if you count the syllables, they are greater than 10
    and the rest of the lines only have 10 syllables. Why do u think this is so?

    Reply
  5. Quintin Weaver
    Quintin Weaver says:

    Dear Shakespeare,
    I enjoyed sonnet 18, and it was pretty good. Some of the kids have trouble counting to 14 and listening to instructions, but that is probably left over from elementary school when they didn’t learn their numbers to begin with. Anyhow, we enjoy reading your literature and it is a welcome break from the non-stop talking that the group in the corner is doing. Dear God, maybe they will take the hint and shut up!!!

    Reply
    • william miles green
      william miles green says:

      I am a highschool kid and my sonnents are absoluty incredible! But I do not know how to spread these sonnents so that I will have the recognition. I just wish somebody could help….:(

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>