Sonnet 73 That Time of Year with William Shakespeare

This is the season of changing colours and winds of winter’s coming. It is a perfect time to read Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare, which uses natural metaphors of decline and decay to speak of aging and transitions.

Autumn, fading sunset, twilight, and glowing fire remind us that love grows stronger, more profound as we move ever forward on our timelines.

As we look forward to the Year 2022, may we embrace the joy and strength of love in the days that are given.

Sonnet 73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold by William Shakespeare


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

60 Thoughts

    1. Thank you so much for listening in and for your lovely comments, Lavinia. I was hesitant – and still am – to recite William Shakespeare, but his sonnets are so beautifully written that they ask to be read out loud. And it seems that they should be recited in nature. Happy Solstice! Wishing you the very best of this festive season!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am too, Liz! Today was my father’s birthday. I sense that time passes slowly, but quickly. I feel the winters more keenly these days. “which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere-long.” I am looking forward to our conversation about “Grief Songs.”

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Shey for your encouragement. Today was my father’s birthday and I thought the best way to celebrate his life was with poetry. I just watched the latest season of Shetland with Jimmy Perez. The opening scene was his mother’s funeral. He recited a poem that I knew that I had read somewhere, but could remember. So I went scurrying across the net and found it: When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou

      Of course, Jimmy Perez’s voice is brilliant – so many emotional nuances. He read the last stanza which I want to share with you:

      And when great souls die,
      after a period peace blooms,
      slowly and always
      irregularly. Spaces fill
      with a kind of
      soothing electric vibration.
      Our senses, restored, never
      to be the same, whisper to us.
      They existed. They existed.
      We can be. Be and be
      better. For they existed.

      Sending hugs and more hugs your way!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. My dear friend, thank you for joining me on a clear day between many rainy days. Perhaps that is what makes it all the sweeter. Yes indeed, William Shakespeare had a marvelous way with words that opens our hearts and soul to the beauty that is around us. All the very very best of this festive season to you and yours.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. dear Rebecca, as always a beautifully presented post in a lovely setting to stand still and listen for a bit in time. May you experience the coming time as beautiful as you interpret it so wonderfully to others.
    Wish you a wonderful Christmas on the other side of the ocean and stay healthy and protected with your loved ones….

    from the North Sea from North Frisia, very close to the North Frisian Islands

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am thrilled that you stopped by for a visit and for your comments. I just looked up where you lived! Spectacular. I am delighted that we connected in 2021 and am looking forward to the many conversation that we will have in 2022. Your photography is amazing. I would love to know more about where you live. Sending my best wishes of the festive season to you and yours, from Vancouver, Canada to the North Sea!! Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. so warmly dear, these answer lines, you remain to me as a distant friend…I am however also still on Telegram Messenger to reach…and likewise over safety mailer account “wsy.riseup.net” from Seattle, WA
        again warm greetings for Christmas!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear friend, language is something that, in our daily interactions, we seem to take for granted. When I first started to listen to my recitation, I realized that I did not enunciate clearly or I rushed words so that they were merged together. Each word has meaning. You wrote in a recent comment that “This deeper knowledge of the German language enabled him to use the language elegantly.” I agree wholeheartedly on your thought about deeper knowledge. Reciting poetry has given me a greater respect for words and language. My recitation is a work in progress and one that I want to continue to explore going forward. Sending hugs and love to my dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dearest Rebecca,
        we really like your recitation.
        To recite is a perfect exercise not only to go deeper into the structure of language but also to become aware of the qualites of a text.
        Hugs and love
        The Fab Four of Cley
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m late on responding because I was with Frances this afternoon. It was my father’s birthday today so we celebrated his memory and the time we had with him. Time is fluid, isn’t it. It seems slows and then there is a quickness that leaves us with the thought by Dr. Seuss – “how did it get so late so soon.” I confess that reciting the sonnets of William Shakespeare is daunting! But the words carry the essence of the human experience. “When yellow leaves, or none, or few….”
      Frances sends her very best of the special season to Misty, you and your wonderful family, as do Don and me.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Another lovely, just lovely recitation, Rebecca. As you know, I love the metaphors nature provides. Sonnet 73 is a beautiful example of these, and the last two lines just slay me. Kierkegaard believed poetry is inadequate for providing a remedy for the suffering and death which surround us. But I say to Søren, poetry and other writing is a different domain than that of pure theology and faith, which soothe and heal more deeply. Nature’s metaphors point well to these and nudge us forward. As one upon whom winter presses heavily, each spring, summer and autumn is precious in its turn and points to the possibility of immortality of which Søren beseeches and Shakespeare hints. Hugs!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary Jo – you have the most amazing way of clarifying and articulating our ongoing search for meaning. May I quote your comments in an upcoming podcast on poetry? I admire Kierkegaard’s thought process, but I agree poetry and other writing speaks to a deeper, internal need for reconciliation with oneself and with others. Winter is nigh and the time for reflection is around us. Thank you for adding to my understanding. Sending much love and many hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m on board with Kierkegaard regarding which domain provides the eternal remedy, but I’m also off in the life boat with poets who often empathize with our long sea journey. He who calmed the storms and waves and walked on water does it best, yet we like to tell our own human stories too. Yes, you may…love to you and yours this Christmas. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. A wonderful reading, Rebecca! I adore your voice and all your readings, narrations and interviews. As you know, I am a huge fan of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Also, his love poems are a treat. I treasure my old edition of “Love Poems And Sonnets Of William Shakespeare”.
    In a more passionate frenzy, I’m a huge fan of “Sonnets From The Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barret Browning.
    Now, I was in a fit looking for a book I own…”The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”. All of his plays are contained therein.
    I still haven’t found it, but while searching, I found a book I’ve been looking for for over a year; “Against The Current”, by Frances Kroll Ring. (signed by Frances)
    She was F. Scott’s secretary in the last year of his life, while he was writing “The Last Tycoon”. She was largely responsible for having the unfinished book published.
    I got to work with her while shooting Showtime’s “Last Call”, which I designed the costumes for. I would shiver when she would see her character, turn to me and say, I had a dress just like that.
    AH, the stories she told. I couldn’t chat with her enough!
    Anyway, thank you Shakespeare, because of you, I found my Fitzgerald!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have so many marvelous stories, Resa! I am thrilled that you shared this priceless gem with me. How is this for serendipity. Just yesterday my poem for the day was by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, that I must share with you.

      Change on Change
      Elizabeth Barrett Browning – 1806-1861

      1.

      Three months ago, the stream did flow,
      The lilies bloomed along the edge;
      And we were lingering to and fro,—
      Where none will track thee in this snow,
      Along the stream, beside the hedge.
      Ah! sweet, be free to come and go;
      For if I do not hear thy foot,
      The frozen river is as mute,—
      The flowers have dried down to the root;
      And why, since these be changed since May,
      Shouldst thou change less than they?

      2.

      And slow, slow as the winter snow,
      The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
      And my two cheeks, three months ago,
      Set blushing at thy praises so,
      Put paleness on for a disguise.
      Ah! sweet, be free to praise and go;
      For if my face is turned to pale,

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for reciting this lovely poem, by a favorite of ours, I read and listened to it several times! I see by the comments that there were others who enjoyed your reading, as well. Dave Astor wished me well in his comments to you. Thanks to him! I always enjoy the art work that you use as background to your reading. Wishing your a really happy holiday season! !

    Liked by 3 people

  5. HI Rebecca, you look so lovely in this video with your lovely pink cheeks. I always think of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins when I see you, I think she was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous sonnet with us. I’m on a blogging break but I had to visit you and Dave.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Have a wonderful blogging break, Robbie. I met you over at Dave’s place just now. You have so many wonderful reading ideas. I remember trying to recite “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ – what fun that was. I loved Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews was perfect in that role or as Mary Poppins said “Practically Perfect in Every Way.” I have a huge collection of umbrellas – I can’t help myself. An umbrella was the first thing that I bought when I moved to Vancouver as we have many days when umbrellas are needed. So next time I’m out reciting poetry I will bring my umbrella! Hugs! Merry Christmas – all the very best of this festive season to you and yours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HI Rebecca, we have needed umbrellas quite a lot this summer here in South Africa. It is a wonderful change and my garden looks like a tropical jungle. I love Mary Poppins, it was my favourite film as a child and also a favourite book. The book had so much more than the film, of course. Merry Christmas to you too. If you have a minute, do look at my 2021 Gingerbread Christmas project. It is called The Great Mince Pie Escape and I am rather pleased with it.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that we are entering 2022 together. I agree – there are so many hidden meanings behind a painting or photo. Our ability to experience emotions gives meaning to our lives. Sending many hugs your way!

      Liked by 1 person

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