…wrote, I believe all, or most, of his sonnets while unable to perform his plays during an outbreak of the plague. There was,at this time, a moratorium placed on most public activities; therefore, concerts and plays of all kinds were, for a time, proscribed. So Shakespeare had little to do but confine himself to his rooms and write. I do not know why he chose to write sonnets at this time, however his chosen form–much simpler, and some might say elegant or sublime–was of his own devising.
His first sequence is some 127 sonnets long and deals with one subject only. Although I am far from an expert on these matters, I do rather feel that the young man to which he is speaking metaphorically in these works is more likely himself than any other, nor do I feel that he was speaking metaphorically to young men in general–although certainly there is a level on which this certainly is the case.
Although I have now written as many sonnets as did Shakespeare at that time, I have certainly not written a sequence much over 10 sonnets in length. There are too many subjects upon which I ponder, to keep to one subject for such a length of time. On the other hand, When I write of love–such sonnets could be taken as a sequence, since they explore different aspects of my love for my sweetheart. Such things as I have felt–and over so many years. I have not counted how many of these are specifically directed to my beloved; however it is bound to be quite a large share, I should think. Possibly more than half? Truly, I am not sure, but perhaps such an accounting would be a worthy pursuit.
…which was and is essentially the catalyst to the Shakespeare project in that the insight I gained in writing these nine sonnets caused me to understand Will Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets in a way in which I could not have done had I not written these. I have posted a link to this sequence to the right. See the link entitled “Notes to Myself,” which I have also included here for convenience.
…the desire to compete it, may supersede all other motivations. Because of this, look for a bit of laurel-resting, after which I will write more “Etudes.” (I believe)
Still, the desire to continue with the “Shakespeare Project” is also forefront, as is my desire to write more “Canopians.”
I would also enjoy writing more split sonnets. To that end, I have in mind a form wherein two sonnets, one with the reverse rhymescheme as the other–possibly in the Shakespearean style (with ABAB quatrains) are recombined as two new Shakespeareans. If the two sonnets interlock well enough all four should be readable and perhaps I will explicitly publish both the originals and the interlocking version. I believe such a thing would make the rhymes palindromic in nature. Yes… but I have not given sufficient thought to the proof of this : )
In any case look for something new soon. Probably not Canopians but probably Etudes in the Shakespearean form with inverse rhymes and possibly palindromic versions of them.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
…is sonnet IV of the Shakespeare reflected variety. As usual, it is a reverse Spenserian. Internal rhymes are all couplets (also as per usual) however this time, I used all of Shakespeare’s rhyming words for these. I use these in the order in which they appear, excepting that they are rearranged to couplet form. Mechanically this worked better than expected; however I feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end, as no doubt, Lucas is “gunning” for this one.