Sonnet no: 33 by William Shakespeare

Again, we open up a Sonnet by Shakespeare. Surely, this isn’t a London morning. A mountain towers in front of us and Nature is at play with beautiful colours and green meadows. Notice how the Morning in question is a person here and the bard complains only for an hour he can enjoy this lovely sight. The poem is also listed as one of his “Fair Youth” sightings are present. There may be love or friendship going on and even if you think we are reading about a nice Morning, relationships can be present here too. The webpage “Shakespeare online” has given an reasonable explanation:

“In Sonnets 33-35 the poet makes it clear that he has been deeply hurt by his young friend, who many believe to be the historical Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s patron…”

Themes: nature, the morning, friends, love

Sonnet nr. 33

[1] Full many a glorious morning have I seen

[2] Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,

[3] Kissing with golden face the meadows green,

[4] Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy,

[5] Anon permit the basest clouds to ride

[6] With ugly rack on his celestial face,

[7] And from the forlorn world his visage hide,

[8] Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.

[9] Even so my sun one early morn did shine

[10] With all-triumphant splendor on my brow,

[11] But, out alack, he was but one hour mine;

[12] The region cloud hath masked him from me now.

[13] Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;

[14] Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

Sources

Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 33. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Shakespeare Online. 8 Dec. 2008. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/33detail.html >.

Wikipedia.org

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„The Second Coming“ – A poem by William B Yeats

I’m watching the HBO series The Stand (2020), which is a remake of the 1990s series after Stephen King’s novel The Stand. I noticed Randall Flagg (the Devil) quote some poetry by Willam Butler Yeats in the first episode. I thought it be interesting to get back to the poem which has a religious topic. Wikipedia informs about the novel:

“The Stand is a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel written by American author Stephen King and first published in 1978 by Doubleday. The plot centers on a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world population. The few survivors, united in groups, establish a new social system and engage in confrontation with each other. In writing the book, King sought to create an epic in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings that was set in contemporary America. The book was difficult for King to write because of the large number of characters and storylines. In 1990, The Stand was reprinted as a Complete and Uncut Edition. King restored some fragments of texts that were initially reduced, revised the order of the chapters, shifted the novel’s setting from 1980 to 10 years forward, and accordingly corrected a number of cultural references. The Complete and Uncut Edition of The Stand is considered to be King’s longest stand-alone work with its 1,152 pages, surpassing King’s 1,138-page novel It. The book has sold 4.5 million copies.”

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Source

Wikipedia

”She sights a bird” – A poem by Emily Dickinson

This poem was written by Emily Dickinson and features a cat and a bird. It’s quite a long “story” to be a poem written by Emily. She usually was very short with words.

Themes: a cat and its prey

She sights a Bird—she chuckles—
She flattens—then she crawls—
She runs without the look of feet—
Her eyes increase to Balls—

Her Jaws stir—twitching—hungry—
Her Teeth can hardly stand—
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first—
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,

The Hopes so juicy ripening—
You almost bathed your Tongue—
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes—
And fled with every one—

”The Power of the Dog” – A poem by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. Kipling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was among the United Kingdom’s most popular writers. Humans and domestic animals share a special bond. Sometimes the company of a four-legged companion is better than any person. How come? Kipling was a big fan of the dog and it comes forth in this poem.

Themes: man’s best friend, dog life, company of a dog

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

source

wikipedia.org

”I wandered lonely as a Cloud” – A poem by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is one of Britains most loved poets and many can immediately recognize a poem by him just by reading a single line. He’s a good representative of the Romantic Movement. This is a famous poem by him and wellknown throughout the history of Literature. “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (1802) is often cited on funerals. It happens to reflect those feelings familar to any mourner. The feeling of being alone with ones own thoughts and the personal loss of a beloved one. Still, these lines never mention any death or any mourner. It’s also a form of out of the body experience described in this poem. Nature is an important theme in these lines. Here, nature almost steps in and merges with the narrator. Hope and trust are present too.

Themes: loneliness, nature, the inner self, reflection, solitude

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:  
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,  
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Shakespeare’s sonnet nr. 141

In this sonnet the mysterious Dark Lady shows herself. We don’t know who she was, but she appears in many of the bard’s sonnets. It opens up with the line ”In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,”. In faith means ”truly” and the author wish to assure us he is not looking for physical qualities. The structure is of the classical shakespearian scheme.

Themes: Love, sin, being in love; Dark Lady, plagued by love

In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But ‘tis my heart that loves what they despise,
Who, in despite of view, is pleased to dote;
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted,
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone:
But my five wits nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,
Thy proud heart’s slave and vassal wretch to be.
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

”Long neglect has worn away” – A poem by Emily Jane Brontë

These lines were written by Emily Brontë (1818-1848) and published under the male pseudonym (women weren’t supposed to publish anything) Ellis Bell. She is most known for the novella Wuthering Heights (1847).

Themes: neglect; neglected friendship

Long neglect has worn away
Half the sweet enchanting smile;
Time has turned the bloom to gray;
Mold and damp the face defile.

But that lock of silky hair,
Still beneath the picture twined,
Tells what once those features were,
Paints their image on the mind.

Fair the hand that traced that line,
“Dearest, ever deem me true”;
Swiftly flew the fingers fine
When the pen that motto drew.

A poem about Life by W. H Davies

This poem by Welsh writer W.H Davies (1871-1940) is very direct about Life and the poet tries to define Life for us to read. Davies is know for the presence of realism in his poetry. His own life wasn’t always easy. Davies had known povery and begging in the streets for his daily bread.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

”Death” – A poem by Maxwell Bodenheim

Maxwell Bodenheim (1892-1954) was an American poet and novelist. He was raised in Chicago but later moved on to New York where he became a central figure among the Greenwich Village Bohemians. He was often homeless but made himself a name during the 1920s and the Jazz Era. According to the Literary Critic John Strausbaugh Bodenheim had “a real talent for scandal, easy enough to generate during Greenwich Village’s prolonged drunken orgy in the Prohibition years.” Strausbaugh notes that Bodenheim’s “haughty, insulting demeanor, and his habit of trying to steal other men’s women right under their noses, got him regularly socked on the jaw and thrown out of bars, soirees and the fauxhemian revels.”

Bodenheim with his wife Ruth shortly before they both got murdered in NYC.

Bodenheim was murdered in 1954 together with his partner Ruth in New York City, by a 25-year-old dishwasher, Harold “Charlie” Weinberg. They had befriended him on the streets of the Village and he offered to let them spend the night in his room. Weinberg and Ruth had sex near the cot where the 62-year-old drunken Bodenheim appeared to be sleeping. Bodenheim arose, challenged Weinberg, and they began fighting. Weinberg shot Bodenheim twice in the chest. He beat Ruth and stabbed her four times in the back. Weinberg confessed to the double homicide, but said in his defense, “I ought to get a medal. I killed two Communists.”

Bodenheim who lived day by day and living as a homeless person had likely experience of seeing too much of everyday violence on the streets. Considering his own destiny this poem called ”Death” almost feels like a prophecy.

Themes: death, dying, personal meeting with death on a road, personfication of Death, death as a person.

“Death”

I shall walk down the road.

I shall turn and feel upon my feet

The kisses of Death, like scented rain.

For Death is a black slave with little silver birds

Perched in a sleeping wreath upon his head.

He will tell me, his voice like jewels

Dropped into a satin bag,

How he has tip-toed after me down the road,

His heart made a dark whirlpool with longing for me.

Then he will graze me with his hands

And I will be one of the sleeping silver birds

Between the cold waves of his hair, as he tip-toes on.

Source

wikipedia.org

Shakespeare and Sonnet nr. 15

Today we look into Shakespeare and Sonnet nr. 15. The major theme is growing and how people just like plants can grow and Shakespeare once again praises youth. Time occurs as destroyer and youth’s perfection will decay and be destroyed by time.

[1] When I consider everything that grows

[2] Holds in perfection but a little moment,

[3] That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows

[4] Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;

[5] When I perceive that men as plants increase,

[6] Cheerèd and checked even by the selfsame sky,

[7] Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,

[8] And wear their brave state out of memory;

[9] Then the conceit of this inconstant stay

[10] Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,

[11] Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay

[12] To change your day of youth to sullied night;

[13] And, all in war with Time for love of you,

[14] As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Ariel’s Song from Shakespeare’s play ”The Tempest”

These lines are well known and from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. Wikipedia informs us The Tempest was probably written in 1610–1611, and thought to be one of the last plays that Shakespeare wrote alone. After the first scene, which takes place on a ship at sea during a tempest, the rest of the story is set on a remote island.

Themes: death at sea, seaside, drowning.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

The Ashbourne portrait of William Shakespeare is only one among many claimed to be of the bard

There are many known so called false portaits of William Shakespeare in existence today. These span over centuries. This is the Ashbourne portrait made by an unknown artist. Wikipedia informs in detail about the Ashbourne portrait and it is one of the numberless portraits that have been falsely identified as portrayals of William Shakespeare. At least 60 such works had been offered for sale to the National Portrait Gallery in the 19th century within the first forty years of its existence; the Ashbourne portrait was one of these. The portrait is now a part of the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

The Folger Library attributes the painting to a Dutch artist named Cornelius Ketel and the year the portrait was made now set to be 1612. A buisnessman from London known as Hugh Hammersley is thought to be the man in the painting. This according to the information provided by the Folger Library. It is 20 cm x 94,6 cm and painted with oil on canvas.

Source

wikipedia.org

The Folger Shakespeare Library

Recommended podcast – ”Shakespeare Unlimited”

Hello again,

I wish to recommend all Shakespeare fans the podcast called ”Shakespeare Unlimited”. It’s published by the Shakespeare Folger Library and is a source of information and inspiration to anyone interested in the life and time of the great bard. Always great guests to chat and comment; and good topics! Go to your favourite podcast player and type ”Shakespeare Unlimited” that should get you to the pod!

https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-unlimited

”Nothing Gold Can Stay” – A poem by Robert Frost

A very short Poem by Robert Frost which manage to capture the drastic changes of the autumn Season.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Le Manoir du Diable (1896) – One of the oldest Horror movies ever made

This Silent movie was considered lost until 1988 when it was rediscovered in an archive in New Zealand. It’s a French movie by director and Illusionist Georges Mèlilés (1861-1938) and it is also known as The House of the Devil, released in the United States as The Haunted Castle and in Britain as The Devil’s Castle.

Sources

archive.org

wikipedia.com