starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
[personal profile] starlady
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
Which but today by feeding is allayed,
Tomorrow sharpened in his former might;
So, love, be thou; although today thou fill
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness,
Tomorrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness;
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new
Come daily to the banks, that when they see
Return of love, more blessed may be the view;
     Or call it winter, which being full of care
     Makes summer’s welcome thrice more wished, more rare.

     --William Shakespeare, Sonnets, 56


This is actually a teaser for one of my planned [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw posts (yes, the Shakespeare & Catullus one): 

In and of itself, Sonnet 56 is not especially remarkable. Lines 5 and 7 are unmetrical even with elisions, and the poem sounds rather trite, at least in the ‘fill/till/kill’ internal rhyme of lines 5-7. What is remarkable here is the image in the last quatrain, which Stephen Booth describes as “imprecise” and “not obviously pertinent either to what precedes [its lines] or to what follows” (231). According to Booth, most critics have desultorily conjectured a reference to the story of Hero and Leander in this quatrain, but he is right in that the sense of that story is not quite the same as the situation Shakespeare depicts (231). To a reader of Catullus, however, these four lines will inevitably suggest poem 64 and its unforgettable description of Ariadne and Theseus.

For the record, there are better sonnets in the sequence (such as this one, which I posted last year), but individually and collectively the sonnets repay repeat reading in spades.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 04:34 (UTC)
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Especially collectively.

Although collectively, they're also kind of sad.

(One of my slightly-less-sane characters - the "Robin" from the original bit I posted - frequently uses Shakespeare to communicate with. The problem is, he uses it with full integrated context, and I'm not sure how much the casually acquainted audience will catch. x.x)

My favourite is 45, though. The first two lines occasionally get stuck in a loop in my head.
Edited (someday I will say everything I want before the first time I hit "post". today is not that day.) Date: 2010-04-24 04:49 (UTC)