Art and Culture Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity (9-11)
Other art is subject to death and violence, but this poem exists eternally. Plus, its abstraction gives it a cool, shape-shifting power. Once people read these fourteen lines, the words are embedded in their memory and start living in there, too. So the poem doesn't just live on the page: it lives in the minds of "all posterity" (11). Take that, statues.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes (13-14)
The speaker doesn't tell us what happens to poetry when the world ends. The beloved will be resurrected to heaven, putting this poem out of a job. But what comes next? Will poetry have a life in heaven?