Play Sonnet 63

Against my love shall be as I am now,
With Time’s injurious hand crushed and o’erworn;
When hours have drained his blood and filled his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travelled on to age’s steepy night;
And all those beauties whereof now he’s king
Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age’s cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love’s beauty, though my lover’s life:
     His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
     And they shall live, and he in them still green.



Sonnet 63 pits the immortality of words against Time’s never ending destruction.

Will wonders about when the young man will be crushed and worn out by time. When the youth is marred and wrinkled and has reached the evening of his life, and all his beauty has fled, Will hopes that his lines have fortified the memory of his love, keeping him fresh and relevant.

Will’s Wordplay

Like Sonnet 2, this poem makes use of cutting and crushing imagery to depict the effects of time in creating wrinkles on the face. The prevailing metaphors in this sonnet compare youthful beauty to riches, similar to Sonnet 4, and old age and death to night, similar to Sonnet 12.

Since there is no specific addressee (no you or thou) one may perhaps more accurately say that the poem celebrates the Fair Youth than that it is is specifically addressed to him.

Unlike the many procreation sonnets in the Fair Youth sequence, the resolution found here is in the immortality granted by the writing of the poem (“these black lines”).

Blackness and beauty seem to be opposites. Blackness is akin to the night of death, set against the brightness of his “youthful morn”. The preserving blackness of ink contrasts with the greenness and vitality it preserves.


Greywacke Arch, Central Park, Manhattan

Greywacke Arch was designed by Calvert Vaux and completed in 1862.

An “exuberent spirit animates the Greywacke Arch, a little jewel of Victorian park architecture tucked away in the gently undulating ground northeast of the Ramble, where it permits pedestrians to walk beneath the east drive.” Its Saracenic pointed arch, is “composed of alternating voussoirs of brownstone and greywacke,” [1] a grayish sandstone found in the Hudson River Valley. Greywacke Arch is the only arch in Central Park that gets its name from the material with which it is built. [2]

“The polychromatic theme carries into the vault, which Vaux lined with red and white brick.” Jacob Wrey Mould, Vaux’s close assistant, designed the railing above the arch in 1871 that, “in its diagonal lines and bobbing circles, nicely complements the stonework.” [1]

“Greywacke links Parkgoers to the Great Lawn under the East Drive by a path beginning at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, just south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Conservancy restored the deteriorated bridge in 1985.” [2]

The Greywacke Arch was used as a film location in Woody Allen’s Anything Else (2003) and You Don’t Mess With Zohan (2008) featuring Adam Sandler. [4]



1. Kowsky, Francis R. Country, Park and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux, Oxford University Press, USA, 1998, pg. 108.


ACTOR – Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton is an actor, director, playwright, and teacher of acting. His most recent acting appearances in New York have been in Choir Boy at MTC, Playing Sinatra at Theatre for the New City, and Seagull69 at Mississippi Mud. As a director he has worked at CSC (Ivanov, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and, next season, Hamlet), Mississippi Mud (many productions), and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, where he is member of the Ensemble. He apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, under the guidance of NIkos Psacharopoulos. He has appeared in about 200 movies, as well as much TV, notably Oz, Homicide, Law and Order, and Person of Interest. He has written three plays, all published, all produced in New York and around the country: Booth, Uncle Bob, and Orson’s Shadow, as well as the libretto for A Minister’s Wife, first done at Writers’ Theatre in Chicago and then at Lincoln Center in New York. He teaches acting at HB Studio in New York.


DIRECTOR – Josh Barrett

Josh Barrett is a producer, director, actor and writer. His debut film This Is Where We Live premiered in the Narrative Competition at the SXSW Film Festival, and has garnered several awards including the Emerging Director Award at the St. Louis Film Festival. He received his MFA at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program where he was the recipient of the Dean’s Fellowship. He has appeared in various films, televisions shows and commercials, including a series regular on HBO’s Generation Kill. His writing has been featured at New York’s Flea Theater and he was a contributing writer for the play columbinus, which has been produced off-Broadway and several times regionally. Josh currently is a digital producer for VH1. He is honored to have been given the opportunity to contribute to The Sonnet Project.