William Shakespeare…

…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.

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Where no man has gone before:

To be a bit more accurate, regarding poets in any case, a few such men have gone here before.

I believe, although I choose not to look for it now, I have offered up another post on this subject; as such, this is the continuation of that post; in that, this morning, Continue reading

Regarding “Etudes” 11 and 12:

Rather than rearranging what I have scheduled to post, I shall delay #11, which will post on January 3rd, 2014.  Number 12, which is not yet completed will most likely be done this morning(ish) and will therefore post on January 4th, 2014, or perhaps shortly thereafter.

Sorry to make all-y’all wait this long ; )

Continue reading

Don’t blame Shakespeare: Stuff he never said

Thank you for this lovely piece of much-needed, and light-hearted scholarship. It is most needed.

Shakespeare is Dead

Oh kind Sir! Bravo!!! This shall be my first reblog in a long little while! Again, I say: “Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!11111one!

0over0

The professor was a strange man; indeed, there is little else about him upon which it can be agreed.  We might hesitate to submit that he was strange in any conventional sense—it wasn’t that his voice was too high or his stature too short or anything of the like—no, it was rather something peculiarly unrelated to any identifiable quality of himself. He was strange in a strange sense. Though upon it, it most certainly may not be agreed, this author might be so bold as to assign him the label of pedantic; for he was dreadfully preoccupied with the ‘rules of proper English’ and had an unchecked phobia of sentences that ended in prepositions bordering on the psychotic, which caused him to go to great lengths to avoid such sentences, and in turn, to produce such clausal absurdities as ‘upon which it can be agreed’ and ‘upon it, it…

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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.

In a few days will repost a sequence…

…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.