By My Sweet Love’s Request:

What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Follow-Up on Teaching Sonnets | Wanderings in the Labyrinth

Andrew
Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:15:42

One thing at a time. :-)

It’s been my experience that students can count syllables, and get 10 syllables into a line, far easier than they can match the iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter only came for me after about thirty sonnets — so I think it’s less of a priority. We want students to get over three hurdles first: writing fourteen lines, writing a rhyme scheme, and writing ten syllables in a line. The iamb can come later, because it’s a “sounds like this” issue, which gets solved by kids who care about writing more than one or two.

I could have sworn that it was Dershowitz, but it’s now been at least a decade since I read the report, and the name of the lawyer has long since escaped me. It was about the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, as I recall, or before, so it may not be on the Web — given that it was 1994. It was a profile of a prominent lawyer of the era, might have been Harper’s magazine or The Atlantic…

As for your sonnet sequence, I like it. It conveys feelings of doubt and uncertainty, and solitude; but it’s very much rooted in internal feeling and abstract language, rather than in the macrocosmic world of objects and things and processes. I tend to lean more into the world of objects than you, but it may be an advantage in the poetry world these days.

via Follow-Up on Teaching Sonnets | Wanderings in the Labyrinth.

The 101:

I have three steps so far from freeverse to decasyllabic line.  Next will be blankverse: in which I should approach iambic pentameter.  Five sounds of two syllables each all of which have a feminine first syllable and a masculine second.   And as was my plan before I was so rudely interrupted by existential sadness, I am backfilling with this project.  Which, thus far, I am enjoying greatly.  There is also some new material not related to this that I am in various stages of completing.  So, unless my work ethic disappears along with my sadness, I shouldn’t think I’ll have too much difficulty catching up.

Here is the sequence as it sits so far:

This is, of course, not a formal course, as I have neither qualifications nor experience with composing such things.

I may do a write up on each entry; however, as of now, this is not planned.  My more classically enabled sweetheart and, two dear and much more classically educated friends might be willing to help me with suggestions as to how to arrange such a thing.   Still, since I have the impression that this project will, at best,  receive one or two hits here and there, I am in no rush to do so.  Regarding the evolving sequence and the progressing sequence to follow, the sonnets themselves are the most important.

 

I’ll have enough to do as it is in catching myself up, as it were!

Wish me luck!

Sonnet: A Key

I love thee so, my sweetest, do I close
Up my romantic soul, and lock away
Its delicate embrace of thee I chose.

And for your sake, my children, shall I hide
Away its key; that none should see its truth
While every day I brave this worldly sway.

And yet, for me, the romance of my youth
Is sore alive, in all that I provide;
As, for thy comfort, every tree I fell;

Until–my wish at last–shall come the day
When all are safe, and everything is well.
My calloused hands, mine axe, shall lay aside;

This key, my soul’s romantic door, display
To thee, and to our children, love and pride.

Permalink