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Sonnet 55 Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

'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.

Quote #5

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?

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