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The imagist shibboleth vs Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15

In terms of its theme and emotional dynamics 15 is one of Shakespeare’s simpler sonnets, but it has enormous power. We feel this from the very start:

When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,

The power is partly in the sheer vastness of that initial assertion and partly in the explosive way vastness is contrasted with littleness in the second line.  This creates an extreme sense of suspense – where can he be going with this? – which is in itself intensely involving. The third line makes a similar contrast but far from tamely … Continue Reading