Tag Archives: Sonnet 17

BB: Short Poems, Sonnets 12-17

9 Mar
Artwork - Leigh McRae

Artwork – Leigh MacRae

This podcast did not upload to iTunes originally. I’m reposting in the hopes that I’ve corrected the problem. Apologies from the Bard Brawl.

— DJR.

This week, we’re continuing with the next six sonnets in Shakespeare’s cycle, sonnets 12 to 17. As always, these sonnets are read by our lovely volunteer sonneteers.

Listen to or download the podcast.

Here’s where you can listen to sonnets 1-5, and 6-11, in case you missed them the first time.

So, why have we arbitrarily decided to end our recording with sonnet 17? Because (as those who have been following along will know) these first 17 of Shakespeare’s sonnets are generally lumped together because they are all addressed to an unknown young nobleman and written to encourage him to go forth and multiply.

This group of 17 sonnets has since been given the oh-so-poetic name of “procreation sonnets” by Shakespearean scholars.

Sonnet 12 (Episode: Henry VI, Part I, Act V, Read by: Kayla Cross)

Kayla Cross

Kayla Cross

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Argument: When I look at the signs of time’s passage like the sky darkening as the sun sets, or leaves falling from trees when winter’s coming, it makes me think about your beauty. let’s be honest: you’re not getting any younger, and sooner than you think, you’ll be dead and gone. But, beauty grows as fast as it fades. Don’t leave yourself defenseless against the passage of time – have some kids!

Sonnet 13 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act V, Read by: Stephanie E.M. Coleman)

Stephanie E.M. Coleman

Stephanie E.M. Coleman

O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination: then you were
Yourself again after yourself’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
You had a father: let your son say so.

Argument: You’re not going to be around forever so you should give away some of your good looks away. You’re really only leasing your beauty – you’ll lose it unless you can find someone to inherit it. And seeing as you inherited it from your father who took good care of it, make sure to have a son who can be thankful to you for having kept your family attractiveness in near-mint condition.

Sonnet 14 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act I, Read by: Maya Pankalla)

Maya Pankalla

Maya Pankalla

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

Argument: Listen, I can’t predict the future by looking at the stars, the planets or the weather. But, I can see in your eyes that truth and beauty go hand in hand. So, if you won’t have any kids then I can predict this: truth and beauty will die when you die. (And that’s bad.)

Sonnet 15 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Read by: Melissa Myers)

Melissa Myers

Melissa Myers

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and cheque’d even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Argument: Everything that grows is perfect and ripe for just a few moments, and appearances are often deceiving. Also, the same sun watches over both plants and people. So, when I see that you are fresh-looking and beautiful and will be always, I need to remind myself that this is not really the case: time and decay are killing you even as we speak. But, while time takes away your youth and beauty, I give it back to you in my poetry!

Sonnet 16 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act II, Read by: Miki Laval)

Miki Laval

Miki Laval

But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify yourself in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens yet unset
With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.

Argument: Why don’t you wage war with time properly and find a better way to defeat it than to rely on my poetry? There are plenty of women right now who would love to have your kids which, let’s face it, make better duplicates than paintings. My poetry just isn’t going to be good enough, man. You need to use your own… er, pen to create a copy of yourself.

Sonnet 17 (Episode: Henry VI, Part I, Act III, Read by: Hannah Dorozio)

Hannah Dorozio

Hannah Dorozio

Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say ‘This poet lies:
Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’
So should my papers yellow’d with their age
Be scorn’d like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.

Argument: No one’s going to believe my poems about you in the future even if it’s filled with details about just how awesome you are. Really, my poems will leave out way more than they can show. They’ll just think I made all of this stuff up. Unless one of your descendants were around so they could see that you live again: in your son’s life and in my kick-ass poems!

(Podcast recorded and edited by Daniel J. Rowe, Show notes by Eric Jean)

Stay in touch, Brawlers!

Follow @TheBardBrawl on Twitter.

Like our Facebook page.

Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

BB: Short Poems, Sonnets 12-17

21 Feb
Artwork - Leigh McRae

Artwork – Leigh MacRae

This podcast did not upload to iTunes originally. I’m reposting in the hopes that I’ve corrected the problem. Apologies from the Bard Brawl.

— DJR.

This week, we’re continuing with the next six sonnets in Shakespeare’s cycle, sonnets 12 to 17. As always, these sonnets are read by our lovely volunteer sonneteers.

Listen to or download the podcast.

Here’s where you can listen to sonnets 1-5, and 6-11, in case you missed them the first time.

So, why have we arbitrarily decided to end our recording with sonnet 17? Because (as those who have been following along will know) these first 17 of Shakespeare’s sonnets are generally lumped together because they are all addressed to an unknown young nobleman and written to encourage him to go forth and multiply.

This group of 17 sonnets has since been given the oh-so-poetic name of “procreation sonnets” by Shakespearean scholars.

Sonnet 12 (Episode: Henry VI, Part I, Act V, Read by: Kayla Cross)

Kayla Cross

Kayla Cross

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Argument: When I look at the signs of time’s passage like the sky darkening as the sun sets, or leaves falling from trees when winter’s coming, it makes me think about your beauty. let’s be honest: you’re not getting any younger, and sooner than you think, you’ll be dead and gone. But, beauty grows as fast as it fades. Don’t leave yourself defenseless against the passage of time – have some kids!

Sonnet 13 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act V, Read by: Stephanie E.M. Coleman)

Stephanie E.M. Coleman

Stephanie E.M. Coleman

O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination: then you were
Yourself again after yourself’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
You had a father: let your son say so.

Argument: You’re not going to be around forever so you should give away some of your good looks away. You’re really only leasing your beauty – you’ll lose it unless you can find someone to inherit it. And seeing as you inherited it from your father who took good care of it, make sure to have a son who can be thankful to you for having kept your family attractiveness in near-mint condition.

Sonnet 14 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act I, Read by: Maya Pankalla)

Maya Pankalla

Maya Pankalla

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

Argument: Listen, I can’t predict the future by looking at the stars, the planets or the weather. But, I can see in your eyes that truth and beauty go hand in hand. So, if you won’t have any kids then I can predict this: truth and beauty will die when you die. (And that’s bad.)

Sonnet 15 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Read by: Melissa Myers)

Melissa Myers

Melissa Myers

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and cheque’d even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Argument: Everything that grows is perfect and ripe for just a few moments, and appearances are often deceiving. Also, the same sun watches over both plants and people. So, when I see that you are fresh-looking and beautiful and will be always, I need to remind myself that this is not really the case: time and decay are killing you even as we speak. But, while time takes away your youth and beauty, I give it back to you in my poetry!

Sonnet 16 (Episode: Merchant of Venice, Act II, Read by: Miki Laval)

Miki Laval

Miki Laval

But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify yourself in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens yet unset
With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.

Argument: Why don’t you wage war with time properly and find a better way to defeat it than to rely on my poetry? There are plenty of women right now who would love to have your kids which, let’s face it, make better duplicates than paintings. My poetry just isn’t going to be good enough, man. You need to use your own… er, pen to create a copy of yourself.

Sonnet 17 (Episode: Henry VI, Part I, Act III, Read by: Hannah Dorozio)

Hannah Dorozio

Hannah Dorozio

Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say ‘This poet lies:
Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’
So should my papers yellow’d with their age
Be scorn’d like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.

Argument: No one’s going to believe my poems about you in the future even if it’s filled with details about just how awesome you are. Really, my poems will leave out way more than they can show. They’ll just think I made all of this stuff up. Unless one of your descendants were around so they could see that you live again: in your son’s life and in my kick-ass poems!

(Podcast recorded and edited by Daniel J. Rowe, Show notes by Eric Jean)

Stay in touch, Brawlers!

Follow @TheBardBrawl on Twitter.

Like our Facebook page.

Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

BB: Henry VI Part 1, Act III

14 Jan

Welcome Brawlers to our first podcast of 2013: the third act of Henry VI, part 1!

Listen to Act I, and Act II.

Listen to the podcast – here

Remember the Bishop of Winchester and the Duke of Gloucester all the way back in act 1? Well, act III, scene 1 drops us right back into the middle of their dispute. Gloucester is the current regent, so he is de facto king until Henry VI reaches the age of majority. The Bishop of Winchester feels he’s not getting a big enough piece of the pie and is plotting to undermine Gloucester’s rule. They exchange insults where Gloucester tells him he’s acting in a manner unfitting a priest and he even accuses him of having plotted to have Gloucester killed. Henry VI eventually speaks up and tells them all to just get along. Both agree to stop fighting but only Henry VI appears to think they’re being sincere. Also important in this act: Richard Plantagenet is restored to his ancestral lands and made Duke of York. The scene ends with Henry embarking on a trip to France. He and Gloucester hope that his presence there will deter some of the French from siding with Charles, le Dauphin.

The battle for Rouen is the setting for act III, scene 2. It seems that Joan has hit upon a plan to gain access to the city. She and a few French soldiers will disguise themselves as peasants. Once inside the city, they will assess the situation. If the city seems ripe for the taking, she will signal the French forces outside of the city to begin their attack. The initial attack catches the English forces off-guard and the French take the city. However, Talbot rouses his men and leads a successful counter-attack that sends the French forces fleeing from Rouen. Once the battle is over, they see to Bedford’s funeral and travel to Paris to visit with Henry VI and his court.

After they loss at Rouen, the French decide that a new tactic is in order. They decide, in act III, scene 3, to have Joan of Arc try and persuade the Duke of Burgundy to switch sides. Basically the argument is that he’s more French than English and so the larger betrayal is to team up with the usurper-invaders, the English. It actually takes very little time for her to make her argument and by the end of the scene Burgundy has sworn off Talbot and the English. Joan then makes a joke to herself about the turning and turning of Frenchmen. Not sure which stereotype this is referring to, but it sounds dirty to me.

The last scene of this act takes place in the court of Henry VI in Paris. Talbot knees to his king and offers both his prisoners of war and his service. As a reward, Henry makes him Earl of Shrewsbury. The party leaves the stages and only Vernon and Basset remain. It seems that during the crossing from England they had a disagreement about the roses they plucked for themselves and therefore about the two camps they have respectfully chosen to support. It seems that Basset (red rose, Lancastrian) made some insult regarding Richard Plantagenet the Duke of York which Vernon (white rose, Yorkist), one of his followers, did not appreciate. Of course, Basset accuses Vernon of having insulted his lord, the Duke of Somerset. Vernon strikes Basset but because of Gloucester’s edict, he cannot retaliate. He therefore determines to ask the king for the right to fight Vernon.

If you’ve been keeping up with the podcasts of Henry VI, part ! you’ll know by now that we don’t hold a very high opinion of the character of Henry VI. He’s basically (at least by this point in the play) a naive and idealistic boy who just wants everyone to get along. (Although that does make him really fun to read.) By the time we get to Henry VI, part II we might also say that he’s a randy little twerp who basically gives France away for the sake of a girl.

In this play, Henry has relatively few lines. This makes sense given his age: he’s probably somewhere between 10 and 13 or so at this point and his uncle is running the country for him. However, the lines that Shakespeare does give him are quite revealing.

I think one of the first scene which reveals to us the character of the king takes place in parliament where we learn that Gloucester and Winchester’ quarrel has gotten out of hand and threatens to destroy London. Henry orders both sides to stop and to shake hands and make up. Of course, both Gloucester and Winchester agree to the handshake and publicly promise to have their supporters lay down their arms. Only Henry VI, who doesn’t appear to give the issue another moment’s though, is fooled. He’ll be fooled again when Vernon and Basset bring their ‘rose’ disagreement to him and ask for the right to duel. The king will fail to see the repercussions of the burgeoning ‘War of the Roses’ and will naively assume that wearing a rose says nothing about one’s political affiliations.

In this respect I think that Henry VI is a singular character, at least in Shakespeare’s history plays: he’s a weak king who would seem to prefer being anything else but king. This becomes even more pronounced over the course of the next two Henry VI plays. While not all of Shakespeare’s king’s are created equal, Henry VI seems only to serve as a model of everything the Renaissance monarch should avoid. It almost begs the question: is this really a king worth serving?

Join us next time for more fighting, speeches and death (in that order)!

Sonnet 17 read by Hannah Dorozio