Rusty Drumm wrote recently in the praise of fish and fishermen, likening their tales to love sonnets, and to Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day . . .” in particular.
It was a really wonderful piece, and yet among the 154 sonnets Shakespeare wrote, there are few that are as transporting as number 18.
After reading them — the first 126, including “Shall I compare thee,” written to a Young Man, and the remaining ones to the Dark Lady, who appears to drive him crazy — one can be forgiven for concluding, although we’re warned not to treat the sonnets as a diary, that they show Shakespeare, an adept when it came to treating of love, to have been a rather unlucky lover.
The Young Man (the Earl of Southampton?) was apparently willing to admit