Our very own Alan K Farrar (how many blogs do you *have*, Alan???) reciting Shakespeare's sonnet 145, labelled as his "oldest piece of writing, written when he was around 18 to his wife, Ann Hathaway."
I'm curious - do we know that to be fact (or at least, strongly evidenced theory)? This is the "I hate from hate away she threw" sonnet, which is typically considered a direct reference to his wife ("hate away" -> "Hathaway"). But I'm not sure where the logic comes from that it is the first? I realize that they were not published or numbered in chronological order, so the 145 doesn't bother me so much. I'll call it the first if somebody explains to me why it is, and not just because it doesn't fit the same iambic pentameter structure of all the others and thus must have been an early effort. That logic could just as well demonstrate that Shakespeare didn't write that one at all.