Skip to main content

World Poetry Day: A Sonnet Dedicated to Shakespeare


Just found out that this is World Poetry Day! Yay! What could be cooler than that? Had I known earlier, I could have organised a Shakespeare event or something. Alas, I read it just now on twittter and had a quick check on Google.

The other day, I read a rather enlightening book by Paul Edmonson and Stanley Wells entitled Shakespeare Bites Back (you can get it HERE for free). The book addresses an issue I never seriously think about before but now I think very important. Some people think - and I do believe they have their reason - that Shakespeare was not easily the person Shakespeare, if you know what I mean. Well, I believe that Shakespeare is Shakespeare, that amazing William Shakespeare who had great understanding of people's hearts and desires. I hold nothing against anyone who says otherwise, but I have always believed that Shakespeare is the rightful playwright and author of works attributed to him, and I still haven't found a reason to think otherwise.

Too much of this.

Here's a sonnet I wrote after I finished that book. It's not my custom to publish my poem on my blog under my real name, but this is poetry day, so I make an exception.

Praise not thy Muse, greater than them thou art
The best carpenter of the craft they boast
Not Orpheus, nor e'en Phoebus impart
Half the measure of thy gracious ghost
And if one wonders whether thou hast mind
To coin all, or says thou lacked the wit
Or with their most slanderous tongue unkind
Give all thy praise to another more fit
Be rest assured, that all thy progeny
Though silent be, could forceful reply make
Thy loud subjects in greater liberty
Raging the storm and battle for thy sake
So sleep'st in peace, and wak'st in lover's breast
Thou my beloved, my one and very best

Please forgive my poor lines. My brain didn't know what it was doing when I wrote them, or rather, type them on my laptop. I finished this in less than 10 minutes. That gives you the idea how impulsive it was.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Problems with Translating Shakespeare

I've found several articles regarding this on the net. I'm new to the Shakespeare world, therefore I didn't know much about the translation issue.

In the net, there are "study guides" for Shakespeare, such as No Fear Shakespeare which provides students with modern English translation of William Shakespeare. I bet students will find it highly useful, especially those who are not well-acquainted with plays or old classical literatures or writings in verse. Apart from that, I am also aware that there are modern English editions of Shakespeare available in book stores. (I know that accidentally, because I found some quotes on Goodreads which convey Shakespeare's ideas but not in his exact words.)

On the other hand, there are people like David Crystal, which I highly respect (truly I love everything he says about Shakespeare's words and also original pronunciation), who insists that no translation is needed in understanding Shakespeare. There is even a debate …

Henry V: Self-Punishment on the Death of Bardolph

Prince Hal, and later, the king, Henry V is a complex character with volumes to think, say, and analyse about. Following his character development from Henry IV part 1 through Henry V, it's hard not to relate to him when one comes to what people call 'conflict of interests.'

For me, the worst part of it in Henry V is when he heard that his (former) friend, Bardolph, had been executed for thievery. In many productions, the directors let Henry either see the execution, or at least the hanged man. Kenneth Branagh and Hollow Crown versions even take time for a little flashback, therefore show us that the king remembered Bardolph and all things they had done together in their former days. Both also, through acting, show that the king was sad about it, yet could do nothing.

Reading the play, however, it was quite shocking that the king made no comment upon the hanging, except that it was just and necessary.

Why didn't he say anything about it? Knowing Shakespeare, he could h…

"Leve-toi, soleil!" - Juliet is the sun

Ah! lève-toi, soleil!Fait pâlir les étoilesQui, dans l'azur sans voiles,Brillent au firmament. Just 4 lines of Romeo's famous aria, L'amour, l'amour!...Ah! lève-toi, soleil!



I've been a fan of Gounod's opera interpretation of Shakespeare's tragic lovers RnJ, but yesterday something brought it to my attention, again. Somebody (on a TV program) describes the aria as "Romeo waiting for the sun to rise so he can see his beloved again."

How huge the difference is between what Shakespeare expressed in his play and this tenor understands through the libretto  I rushed to the Aria Database website and checked the lyric of the aria again. Today, I'd like to discuss it with you guys here.

The scene opens with Romeo, under Juliet's balcony, trying to express his feelings, the love that he experiences after much heart break in his previous unrequited love story, while hiding himself in the dark, avoiding any contact with both his friends and the Capu…