Tangible memories deteriorate over time, such as an old, constantly used blanket, however, words and poems can last an eternity through one's heart and mind. Sonnet 55 by William Shakespeare is about the ability of his poems being able to preserve memory because his poems can withstand destruction and war more than monuments and physical memories. This is shown through metaphors, personifications, and allusions in order to compare how the pieces that Shakespeare has written allows his memory to last more than through monuments.
In sonnet 55, Shakespeare uses a metaphor in lines 2-4 in order to show that his poetry is the only place memory can and will be preserved. When he states “Not marble, nor gilded monuments/shall outlive this powerful rhyme/But you shall shine more bright in these contents/Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time” he is exaggerating that monuments and statues will be destroyed in life(2-4). However, one’s memory can last in the words and meaning of his poems unlike them being destroyed. He says that memories cannot last through gravestones because such statues and monuments get demolished as time goes on, but Shakespeare's rhymes are so powerful that they can last forever; as of now, people are still studying his poems which supports the claims he has made in sonnet 55. By using this metaphor, Shakespeare is making a point that nothing can last after death other than his poetry. In other poems, he has also used metaphors to get a point across.