[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Criticize Your Lover Poetically// Shakespeare’s Guide to Tough-Love//

[Note: This guide is only meant for skilled writers. If you are a commoner looking to woo your girl, I’d suggest you check out Mr. Collins’ guide instead.]

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 holds a special place in my heart. Mainly because it was my life’s first one. And it wasn’t even by choice. You see I was sitting in the library – avoiding my Political Science lecture (I hated that teacher ugh) – when I decided to bide my time going through the books available there. While mindlessly searching for something I didn’t even want, I came across this cute, little hardcover titled – ”Shakespeare’s Sonnets” I immediately checked it out. And let me tell you IT HAD SOME OF THE MOST GRAPHIC IMAGES I HAD EVER LAID EYES ON! xD

Well, needless to say, I spent the whole period – 40 minutes- reading and re-reading random sonnets. And Sonnet 130 was the one that stood out to me the most.

But it wasn’t until I came across it again the other day that I realized Shakespeare was actually trying to teach us something through it’s medium and I had been blind to it this whole time: *gasps*

THE ART OF TOUGH-LOVE 🖤

This realization was immediately followed by an overwhelming urge to share it with everyone else, so that, FINALLY Shakespeare can rest in peace, knowing that we have grasped the hidden meaning now.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Prepare a List

Love is blind – until one day isn’t. There will come a time in your life when the magic will wear off and your girl’s inner Janice will start to show – with her weird hair and annoying laugh.


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You may choose to let those rather unbearable quirks slide at first but after a while, they may become too much to ignore. They almost always do.

In such cases as these, the very first thing you gotta do is MAKE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU FIND ANNOYING ABOUT YOUR PARTNER and make it as extensive as you can.

🌸 Dull Eyes? Check.
🌸Reeking Breath? Check.
🌸Pale cheeks? Check.
🌸 Wiry Hair? Check.
🌸 An unappealing Complexion? Check.

Comparisons are CRUCIAL.

As you must know already, the perfect woman must be the very embodiment of mother nature:

Her eyes as bright as the sun,
Her breasts plump and her complexion fair,
Her hair flowing, and her aroma rare.

Ever Man’s Fantasy

She must be delicate like a flower – rosy cheeks and soft to touch. Her voice should have the tenor of a goddess speaking from the heaven itself. 

All of these things should a woman possess and since YOUR lover doesn’t even come CLOSE to these standards, you are going to have to make some comparisons to hint it, in a not so subtle way.


Compose a Love-Poem

Now that you have gathered the basic material, you may find that it seems rather harsh, doesn’t it?

Well, our Shakesy has the perfect solution for your dilemma. You see, if you wanna soften the blow on your rather plain lover, you gotta compile your complaints and comparisons into a well structured love poemaka a sonnet.

Shakespeare was well practiced in the art of writing these sneaky little poemswritten to woo them girls apparently! And so, you MUST take some inspiration from his previous works to write the perfect sonnet. Also pay attention to how he cloaks his criticism with two rather conveniently placed sentences of flattery in the very end of his sonnets.

Now if you do the right amount of research and practice, your complaints should take the following form:

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
   As any she belied with false compare.

Sonnet 130

Brilliant, isn’t it?

Now all that’s left for you to do is to –

Show it to your Lover.

And then you wait.

Wait for her as she opens the envelope in pure excitement.
Wait for her as her gaze falls on the very first line of the poem.
Wait for her as her eyebrows get furrowed and her eyes turn misty.
Wait for her as her sadness turns into pure rage.
Wait for her as her blood starts to boil and her teeth start to tatter.
Wait for her as she looks at you – not with the emotion you had expected (what DID you expect anyway?) but with rage.

AAANNDDD…

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Yep, there it is. YOUR ULTIMATE REWARD FOR YOUR SEEMINGLY “tough love”

Lesson?

Steer clear of the Shakesy guy, people. He’ll drown your love-boat more ruthlessly than the fucking iceberg that drowned Titanic. *shrugs*

I TOLD YOU! This was his main intention behind writing this sonnet! We were just too dumb to see it. MAN! I love him and his abilities to surprise us DECADES after his death.

But tell me, did you like his tips?
Would you like to refine it by adding some of your own? This is your chance. Share some of your ”tough-love” tips + experiences in the comments so that the rest of can benefit from them as well! 😉

Until Next time,

39 thoughts on “[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Criticize Your Lover Poetically// Shakespeare’s Guide to Tough-Love//

  1. 🤣😂 Ahhh this poem!! It is one of my favourites too, I was so shocked and amused when I first read it like…IS THIS MEANT TO BE A LOVE POEM?? After studying it I came to truly appreciate the genius and comedy of this poem! I love this post RAIN, hilarious and brilliant AS ALWAYS!!! 🥰💜💕🥰💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ME TOOO!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 It definitely came as a shock, having read Keats and Wordsworth! 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Awwww!! THANK YOU SOO SOO MUCHH FOR YOUR SWEEEEETT COMMENT, Kat! ❤️ As always, you make my day! 😇🦋🌻

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! You are right there! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Still…no matter how dumb a girl is, she can almost ALWAYS sense criticism, mark my words! 🤣🤣

      Thank you soo very much, Lashaan. I am glad you liked the post! 😇 I am just having too much fun with this How-To series! 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣🦋

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Shakespeare’s poems but I was always far more intrigued with the structure when studying them — I’m weird like that

    But even with underlining the flaws, I like them far more than traditional Italian sonnets telling about fair delicate ladies that all sound bland and like copies of each other. Points for originality if not for the flattery!! His lady must have had humour though (and he for sure needed to announce she shall read till the end before she beats him up, haha!)

    Amazing as always! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well…if I am being honest, I like them all equally! 🤣🤣 The ones praising their muses effusively AND the ones taking a different approach, like Shakespeare does in this one! I just….the emotion one can feel in their poetry is just…SO SO RAW. I struggle to find something similar these days. Which is exactly why my bend is more towards classics. 😍

      Thank you sooo muchhh, E! I am soo glad you liked the post! 😇🦋

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Poulamiii!!! You are back??! I remember visiting your blog last year but…the link didn’t exist or something! BUT IT MAKES ME SOOO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE HERE NOWWW!!! ❤ ❤

      I am glad you liked the post! hahaha! I had so much fun writing it! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    1. AWWW YOU DID??!?!? Makes me soo happy! I am so glad that you liked the post, Jules! And even more excited by the fact that it convinced you to re-read the sonnets! LET ME KNOW AS SOON AS YOU START AND WE’LL TALK ABOUT THEM!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Confession time…. I’d never read sonnet 130 before! In fact I don’t think I can remember a single sonnet written by Shakesy 😅😅😅 This is truly hilarious Rain. I love your unique posts. Hilarious AND educational for those uncultured savages like myself who have been confined to Yeats, Dickinson and Wordsworth for their poetry needs 😂😂😂☺️☺️☺️❤️💛💚💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh!!! xD xD xD BUT HEYYY!!! I AM HERE FOR YOUUU, DON’T WORRRYY! 😉 ❤ ❤

      AWWW!!! THANK YOU SOOO SOOO MUCH, Emer! You are the bestest. TRULY. And I REALLYY REALLY MISSED YOUR BEAUTIFUL COMMENTS. *sniffs* 😦 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So so funny 😂 I love this!

    I once made the unforgivable mistake of comparing my other half to Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones… I had only ever read the books and hadn’t even glanced at the TV show or graphic novels and for some reason, despite George RR Martin being quite descriptive, in my head he was a handsome, broad and bearded fellow… he was not. So very insulting 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah!! I am soo glad you liked the post! 🤣🤣😍🦋

      OH MY GODDDD!! That’s just….🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 THATS TOO HILARIOUS! No wonder he didn’t take it kindly! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Your comment has made my WHOLE DAY!! 😍😍🤣😇

      Liked by 1 person

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