Sonnets – by Shakespeare.

Programming / Poetry

I’ll do it to you in the French way – insolence : activated.

This is a very nice book that is at home – in English and in French.
Of course, when and why would I read Shakespeare in English when I have the French translation next to it?
So I never did – and I just thought the translator must have been a little crazy when he did his translation, because he doesn’t show the form of the Sonnet at all.

As I am also sometimes inconsistent and think that I am making a little progress in English – here I am just now looking at the text in English.
And there, total amazement.

How could it be? Your great author? Your Poetic Immensity? He wasn’t playing the Sonnet game?
No kidding?
No kidding.

I don’t want to sound unpleasant, but still, a Sonnet is a special poem, with very very fixed rules.

Two stanzas of four lines – okay – usually the rhymes are embraced, but deviations can be accepted.

Then a stanza of six lines – in France it’s two stanzas of 3 lines.
With 3 lines, you’ll notice that it can’t work quite right, since 3 is not an even number and rhymes go in pairs.
So our Great Frenchmen, toc toc toc, played with connecting theses two stanzas: one in the first 3 lines, one in the last 3 – and depending on the place of this strange rhyme, a whole world of interpretation was open: they built their texts as enigma texts, with meanings that you can only understand when you know the rules of composition.
The others, they read everything in a row, and they don’t understand the deep meaning.

So here I am, looking for the hidden meanings of the sonnets of your Immensity.
And there, no ma’am, nothing at all, Shakespeare did not proceed at all like that, and his sonnets end with two rhymes in a row – no game, no cache – at least, not according to the magnificent rules of my country.

I am disappointed, disappointed, disappointed.

There – I couldn’t help it.

I stop here: the French

And I resume: Altair.

If I say Shakespeare, most people will give me the titles of his huge plays, they will be right, they are huge.
Fewer people think of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. And since I want to base some of Altair’s programming on unexpected elements – inevitably, these sonnets will have to be programmed into the poetry programming.

There are a lot of them and the choice will be difficult.
This is where I really want to appeal to the audience, the year before: why not “play” with the audience and get them to choose the series of sonnets that will be put on stage?
For me, when I play, afterwards I go and see the result – and I feel much more concerned about what happens.

I vote for Sonnets 75, 128, 29 :

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure;
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Save what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st
Upon that blessèd wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand.
To be so tickled they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O’er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

It would be necessary to establish voting rules – I don’t believe in democracy for that – of course I do, me, me? I’m not authoritarian.

More exactly, to establish rules that will allow a certain number of sonnets to emerge and be presented on stage.

This is an idea that should be explored further.
But it has a huge advantage: it brings the public into the heart of the programming, and for a genre that is difficult to access at first.
Bringing them in before, it changes everything.

well… with Shakespeare, the game is largely rigged at the start – it would be a full hall – many times. No ?

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Featured Image : a so blue day – blue ?? oh well ….. – for Shakespeare in Central Park

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