Gaze upon me, O Lovely, and beware,
Or as thy frosts unfairly come, rejoice.
Fair-play with fortune will confound Despair
That, hideous with pride, hath shown its voice.
For never-resting, God’s anointed here
Excel: to verse thy numbered days, to bear
This hell, and lend thee summer; pray to year
Thy days, and keep thee and thy children fair.
In they, our seasons, prisoners are we–
As checked, and sapped, and pent: as tyrants fear
All eyes the beauty we distil may see–
Who gift these days to winter they who sneer:
Though thieving Time all substance yet destroys,
We left thee more than wretched He enjoys.
- Rededicated to the men and women
of Sierra Sciences in whose work
I am in a unique position
to feel great appreciation
- David Emeron
to my younger self
This sonnet is part of a short, or
possibly at some point, very long
sequence; click here to read it all:
When read aloud the third quatrain skips along delightfully! Bravo!!
This has finally found its resting place…each word settled into its proper slot. Just beautiful, my dear.
And uniquely suited to Sierra Sciences. A Bravo to them, too, and to Aubrey de Grey. A toast!
That “pray” draws attention to the wonderful “year” more effectively, too. Is the verbal year your own, or an “older” neologism I have embarrassingly missed?
Thank you very much for your kind words and most kind attention. This is high praise coming from you, I feel, after having had a look at your site.
Regarding “yearing” ones days: If you had only asked the first portion of your compound question, my answer would have been: “Yes… uh… no… urm… Maybe.” Since, as I very openly admit, I am not properly schooled in the humanities, and regularly warn people with such a background that my knowledge of grammar and other such things is strictly “Monkey see; monkey do.” (I regularly use the wrong “to” or the wrong “its” although I do know better.)
As far as this particular denominal: yes I thought it up; as to whether it has been thought up before, I have no idea. On the other hand, if a few properly schooled “humanities nerds” such as my wife, or perhaps you, tell me they have never seen it before, then I might lean toward a “yes,” but that is simply empirical evidence not certainty.
But, as to how or why it came about: In this Shakespearean Sub-project of mine, I endeavour to use, and certainly favour, such words which are present in the sonnet which I am currently sending “through the looking-glass,” so to speak. Rather than succumb to my usual long-windedness, I will just state that having a limited pool of words causes one to be creative. Makes one learn things. Such things as how to say things using things other than the things with which one is familiar.
This sequence began with the most famous sonnet 18 (“summer’s day.”) At the time, I had not made any particular plans. I simply wrote it in “Reverse Spenserian” form (another thing I did, did not, might, or might not have invented) because it reads like a Shakespearean but is more challenging to write. After that, I thought, and I quote: “Hey, why not do them all?” So I began with number one and have currently finished with number six (They sometimes post out of order, or I write them out of order, or I sometimes move them around to make room for something with which I am backfilling and for which I require a few extra spots.) Only 148 to go!
I write them not with the same subject, but with “a take” on the subject my younger and my present self might synthesize. With these I have thus far employed a few extra elements I most enjoy, such as internal rhymes (if that is indeed the correct term—embedded might be better because I have seen the former used mostly for rhymes in the same line) or rhymes down the centre, In one case I even used all of Shakespeare’s rhymes down the centre in their original order excepting for transposing lines 2 and 3 of each quatrain so as to create all lyrical or couplet rhymes.
But in any case, I try to employ as many of Shakespeare’s words and concepts as I can and still get my point across. I usually do not go too far with this, but in the case of #6, I took it upon myself to see if I could use all his words at least once—which was a challenge because I used mostly my own rhyming words, plus an extra word or two that could not be eliminated; but which was made possible by the fact that Shakespeare was kind enough to use a fair number of words more than once. The final pesky word on my chart was “worms,” for which my subject had no need and for which I substituted “warm.” I believe I changed the tense of a few, and also used a homonym, if I recall. In any case, I probably will not try that again. It was most time consuming. In any case this is how we find such things as “hideous with pride.” Being a man of science, I am not on particularly familiar terms with metaphor and its relations; doing this causes me to stretch.
It’s also a damn good way to closely study Shakespeare’s sonnets! I shall venture to say that if I complete them all, I will have spent more time with each one of them than all but the most fanatical PhDs in whatever you humanities people get your degrees in : )
And I ended up being long-winded anyway. I guess I can’t help it.
Also, my thanks for diverting me from something upon which it was most unpleasant to dwell.
Well, I have a confession myself: my studies in the humanities – in literature, to be precise, ended, together with my university education, nearly 20 years ago. Since them everything I thought I knew has slipped slowly from my mind. So “year” as a verb does, I admit, sounds familiar – but possibly only because it’s precisely the kind of thing the Bard would have done. Even if he actually didn’t. I’d take credit for it if I were you.
Your project is intriguing and from what I have read so far, magnificent in both conception and achievement. It’s been many a year since I’ve read a sonnet with such interest. Best of luck with the rest.
You sound like an interesting man, sir. As to credit… somehow this puts me in mind of the folks who patented or copyrighted, or trademarked (I do not recall which) an emoticon. This one I believe: : (
“That freezer isn’t going to defrost itself”, said Mrs. UnShakespeare to Mr. UnShakespeare.
Yes… Well… 3:45 am… Perhaps I should have another look. Though I may regret it. And you are always quite the lady! I have never once seen you eat ice cream directly from the carton…. Wait a moment… Didn’t I make you do it once?
I am so glad I found your wonderful poetry. I have a passion for Shakespeare’s plays but am ignorant on sonnets. You’ve whetted my appetite with yours, which I found beautiful.
There is a wonderful blog about Shakespeare called The Shakespeare Blog which you might find interesting. It is written by academics but I always enjoy reading it.
Thank you, and thank you. I believe I am familiar with The Shakespeare Blog–however there may be more than one blog so titled so I would be most grateful for a direct link if you have a moment.
The sequence posting just now is one wherein I write an answer to each one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets. Remember to scroll up, rather than down, as these entries are in “blog” order.
These are written in what I term as “reverse Spenserian” form, which reads similarly to Shakespearean form but which rhymescheme is a bit more challenging. I am not close to finishing this project but as it stands now, there are some eight of these. I actually began with the famous #18 which is what caused me to conceive of the project to begin with. This project has been nagging me of late, so there may be more entries offered soon. God willing, I should hope to live long enough to complete all 154. They are a bit more challenging to write than some; as such, I often ponder over them and rarely offer a new one each day. I hope you will enjoy them.
You mentioned you would like a link to the Shakespeare blog so I have pasted it here fo you x I hope you enjoy it as much as I do
Thanks. I have been there before, though seldom, now that I take a look.