.

A Southern Italian’s Reply
to Shakespeare

If you compare me to a summer’s day
then, Bill, your mind has melted in the heat.
Let’s go inside, there’s no one on the street.
Just look at how the snowbirds flew away.
If I were wealthy, I would not delay.
Our sweaty, sticky skin and smelly feet
without some shade will surely spell defeat.
The piercing sun has far too much to say.

A winter’s day would suit me so much more,
for it is cool and welcoming to all.
To work outside would not be such a chore.
Instead of just one hour, I’d last for four.
When writing me more sonnets, please recall
these words if it is I whom you adore.

.

.

Bradley Samore has taught English and writing in Spain and the U.S.A. and also has worked as a school service worker. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival named him a Thomas Lux Scholar in 2022.Bradley’s poetry was shortlisted for Aesthetica Magazine’s Creative Writing Award and River Heron Review’s Poetry Prize. 


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10 Responses

  1. Dan Ward

    A southern Texan might reply in a similar fashion, though maybe not so eloquently! A clever idea, and well written.

    Reply
    • Joshua C. Frank

      My comment is the same, except it’s not just southern Texas; I’m in central Texas and summers here are brutal!

      Reply
  2. James A. Tweedie

    Lol. After 17 years in the humid, embryonic, womb-like, all-embracing warmth of Hawaii I felt exactly as does Shakespeare’s come-back lover in Bradley’s nifty Petrarchan sonnet. Fortunately I have now found my perfect and permanent climate retreat in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for the smile.

    Reply
  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    This poem makes sense when you think of the blistering heat of the Italian Mezzogiorno. But Shakespeare wrote in a very temperate and mild English climate, where even summer is pleasant.

    Reply
  4. Paul Freeman

    A much satirised sonnet being well-satirized again (I’ve had two versions published myself!)

    Welcome to the club, Bradley, and thanks for the read.

    Reply
  5. Anna J. Arredondo

    Bradley,

    As has been alluded to, including the place of writing in the title of your poem causes your objection to make perfect sense.

    It seems to me that Shakespeare answered ‘nay, I shall not’ to his own proposed comparison, finding his addressee “more temperate” than a summer’s day, in which “Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines”… Or rather, he praised her by way of contrast.

    This of course in no way detracts from the point you make, with clever wit and humor, in your own sonnet. Nicely done!

    Reply
  6. Cynthia Erlandson

    As much as I like Shakespeare, I really like your poem, too, Bradley! I’m still smiling! It’s good to have fun with poetry, at least once in a while. As Dr. Seuss (speaking as the Cat-in-the-Hat) said, “It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how!” Clearly, you know how!

    Reply
  7. Richard Craven

    A Southern Italian responding to Shakespeare with a Petrarchan i.e. Italian sonnet is a very nice touch.

    Reply
  8. Adam Sedia

    As a fellow Southern Italian, I was drawn by the title, and the poem didn’t disappoint. A very clever and unexpected insight — it reminds me of the line in Lawrence of Arabia in which Prince Faisal tells the English soldiers that the Arabs hate the desert and seek out green places. The geography the foreigner finds idyllic or Romantic is often not so well loved by those who inhabit it. I will remind myself of this whenever I wonder how my ancestors could have left the beautiful Campanian and Abruzzese landscapes.

    I also echo Richard’s thoughts about your choice of form. Well done, indeed.

    Reply

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