Seuss to William Shakespeare, English poetry has the ability to speak to us in ways that are remarkably genuine. Different poetic genres, such as the sonnet form, can penetrate one's soul with its beautiful brevity of only fourteen lines and sometimes even shorter. In William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 60,"" Shakespeare explores the phenomenon of time and the different gears in which it shifts throughout the maturation and development of one's lifetime. The poet both celebrates and laments the properties of time, revealing his feelings of unresolved contraries: time does give and time also takes away. Shakespeare's medium for inquisitiveness in "Sonnet 60- is the use of imagery- his choice of imagery in specific. The choice of imagery used in the sonnet, conceivably relevant to the style and form the poet employs, helps to create an alluring nexus between the poet laureate's unresolved contraries involving time's flight and the stylistic approach used by the poet involving the quatrains in the sonnet.
In some matter, the first quatrain sets both a schematic and thematic tone for the entire sonnet. In the sonnet's opening lines, Shakespeare draws a metaphoric connection between waves reaching the shoreline and man's ever closing window of life: "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, | So do our minutes hasten to their end;- (lines 1-2). This cliché of "tempus fugit,"" or "time flies,"" is partially offset, however, by the waves coming "In sequent toil - that is, struggling to forge ahead (line 4). One may realize that time indeed flies by. One may also acknowledge the context and content that accompanies time as it passes by; time does not blindly pass without the attachment of some meaningful weight. Shakespeare's negative capability in understanding time's passing and one's minutes as both "hastening to their end,"" yet "in sequent toil- is reflected stylistically in how this opening quatrain (and the quatrains that follow) splits in half, with the latter half existing as an unresolved contrary to its respective quatrain.