I’d lie to say that I don’t seek for fame,
The immortality that Shakespeare sought
And boasted that his poems would bring. My aim
Is likewise to defeat fierce Time’s onslaught.
To write enduring verses singing still
Beyond my muffled grave or silent urn—
A deathless mockingbird or whip-poor-will—
Is that fond fate for which these sonnets yearn.
Yet Truth suggests a shrewd contingency,
A higher motive for my exercise
Of versecraft than prolonged longevity,
An even richer, rarer kind of prize,
If writing sonnets helps me realize
A clearer insight that would make me wise.