My (In)Famous Spam Sonnet
I first created this in late 1995 for the Spam Haiku Archive, which had just started a Sonnet section. I grabbed my copy of the complete Shakespeare and in less than an hour (it shows, no?) created this little ode to that fine pink canned meat. Since then, it's been featured in a speech contest where it was used as an example of how the internet can be a complete waste of time (I guess I should be honored) and I was even asked to sign a copy for a charity auction by comedians. So far, nobody from Hormel has threatened to sue...
Since the sonnet section is no longer linked to very clearly from the Spam Haiku Archive, I decided to put up a local copy. Without further ado (about anything), here it is:
Shall I compare thee to a can of SPAM?
Thou art more pink and more gelatinous.
Much ill is said about this fine "Spiced ham"
Yet never is it called keratinous.
Sometime too hard the arteries are made
And often is the heart's beating too dim,
And every glob of fat in time is laid
Upon the waist, for Jenny Craig to trim.
But thy eternal pinkness shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fat thou earn'd
Nor shall Death brag thy heart attack SPAM made.
When in eternal sloth thy life was burn'd
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long will SPAM's blue cans bring joy to thee.
The original, from William Shakespeare: The Complete
Works, Compact edition. Edited by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988) [ ISBN 0-19-811747-7] (apparently out of print):
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 to short a date.
Sometime to hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thow 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 eyse can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.