A Happy Summer Solstice Eve Open Link Night, everyone. My name’s Joe Hesch and I’ll be tending to your poetic thirsts tonight.

I’m not sure if I’m stealing any of my dVerse colleagues’ licks for this week, but when I sat down to write today’s introduction, that famous sonnet by Shakespeare came to mind…Number 18. Even an relatively under-achieving reader of poetry like me has read or heard its first line:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I ran over to my bookcase where I pulled out my old copy of the Complete Works to read Sonnet 18, thinking maybe I could cadge a summer theme for you this week.

But actually the poem is about how beautiful the object of Shakespeare’s affection was. I can relate. I’ve been writing my share of romantic poetry lately, too. I thought I had struck out on my intro theme until I got to those last two lines, the final couplet:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

He’s saying his inspiration’s beauty will never fade. Do you know why?

Because he wrote a poem about it.

That lit in me like a night time lightning bolt from a summer thunderstorm. Each one of us, because we post our poems on the Web, can expect them to live as long as Shakespeare’s works. As long as Yeats, Dickinson, Neruda, Rilke, Rumi, Basho, Homer. Think of that! Once it’s up there, it’s there forever.

Now I’m certainly not saying we’re all in the same class as the great poets, but because of technology, we all can have the “immortality” of William Shakespeare. All we have to do is write our poetry as best we can, post it, and share it with others to spread the word. Believe it or not, given the technology of his time, that’s how we learned about the Bard of Avon.

Oh, and because we’re a full-service Poetry Pub, and we want you chasing to other poets’ blogs, not your bookshelf, virtual or Ikea, here’s Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
 And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
 By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
 Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
 Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
 When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

So tonight we’re here to spread the word, from one end of this bar to the other, from one notebook, one state, one country, heck, one hemisphere, to another. We spread the word of our own poems, as well as that of our fellow poets by linking right below.

If you’re new to the pub, here’s the how-to for sharing your work and exploring that of other poets:

• Link in the poem you’d like to share (1 per blog, please) by clicking on the Mr.Linky button just below.
• This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog url and entered your name, simply click submit.
• Don’t forget to let your readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post
• Visit as many other poems as you like, commenting as you see fit. Remember that this is how we connect with those who can support and encourage us, and for whom we provide the same vital benefits.
• Spread the word. Feel free to tweet and share on the social media of your choice. Remember, we’re using 21st Century word-of-mouth here.
• Finally, enjoy! Remember, we are here for each other. Engage your fellow poets, talk, chat, comment, let them know their work is being read, and enjoy the input you also will receive. This is all about community. One that’s going to live for a long, long time.

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