Watch in high definition. Captions provided. The second line of the poem is based on Helen Vendler’s reading.
Image description: Eric Epstein, a white young man with short brown hair, wearing a gray T-shirt and dark gray pants. He is standing on grass. The background consists of a brick wall and a tree to the left. Behind the brick wall is a house. He is signing “BUY.”
Sonnet 146 by William Shakespeare
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Feeding these rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body’s end?
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more.
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And, Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.