BB: Sonnets 30-35

Artwork - Stephanie E.M. Coleman
Artwork – Stephanie E.M. Coleman

Welcome Brawlers (finally!) to another episode of the Bard Brawl!

So every so often, do you get that experience where you keep looking at a word which is spelt correctly but you’re just convinced that some letters are missing?

Yeah, that word today is sonnet. No idea what letters might be missing but it still seems… off.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that all of these sonnets have been recorded by male sonnetteers so maybe that’s what’s throwing me off this episode. However, I promise that you won’t be disappointed by our readers.

Enjoy the latest sonnets podcast, au masculin!


Listen to or download the podcast.


Sonnet 30 (Episode: Pericles, Act I; Read by: Eric Fortin)

Eric Fortin
Eric Fortin

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.

Argument: So, when I’m thinking about all the things I used to have but have any more, I feel about as crappy as I did when I first lost them. That makes me cry my eyes out about my dead friends and my worse breakups while I go through all of the worst moments of my life all over again. But if I think about you, then all that goes away and I feel awesome.

 

Sonnet 31 (Episode: King Lear, Speeches; Read by: Jack Konorska)

Jack Konorska
Jack Konorska

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead;
And there reigns Love, and all Love’s loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol’n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I loved, I view in thee,
And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.

Argument: Check this out. All those people who I thought were gone forever, well it turns out that I can kind of see them all when I look at you. Cool, right? Like, I totally thought I would never see any of them again but when I look at you it’s like – Bam! – they’re right there! So no more visiting each grave one at a time because you’re like a whole cemetery.

 

Sonnet 32 (Episode: Richard II, Act II; Read by: Jack Konorska)

If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O! then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
‘Had my friend’s Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better equipage:
But since he died and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love’.

Argument: If I die before you, and you just happen to come across my poems – entirely by accident, of course – can you please hold on to them and not recycle them. I know that these poems kinda suck so don’t keep them around because you like them but because you loved me. Oh, and can you please go around telling everyone: “Yeah, modern poetry is better but, you know, he wrote these for me so that’s pretty awesome.” (And maybe a little creepy.)

 

Sonnet 33 (Episode: Timon of Athens, Act IV; Read by: David Kandestin)

David Kandestin
David Kandestin

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack, he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

Argument: Man, I’ve seen the sunrise make the world look and feel golden so many times only to let itself get covered up by rude-ass clouds. You did that to me once, when you looked at me. It felt pretty amazing to know you were looking at me. But yeah, that didn’t last too long though. I’m not mad though, bro. If the sun can paint the sky red, why should I be mad that you sort of stab my heart like that?

 

Sonnet 34 (Episode: Twelfth Night, Speeches; Read by: “First” Jay Reid)

Jay Reid
Jay Reid

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
‘Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak,
That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.

Argument: Why the hell did you tell me to leave my jacket at home when you knew it was going to rain? And then you rub it in my face by posting my picture on Facebook, too? You might have apologized but I’m still soaked. WTF? Oh… no. Stop. Please don’t cry. I didn’t mean… just… (sigh) It’s fine. Just forget I said anything. Don’t worry about it.

 

Sonnet 35 (Episode: Pericles, Act IV; Read by: Andre Simoneau)

Andre Simoneau
Andre Simoneau

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud:
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,
Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
That I an accessary needs must be,
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

Argument: Seriously,.don’t worry about it. You made a mistake, you’re only human. I guess. I mean, I just can’t stay mad at you, no matter how hard I try. Even when you mess up big. It’s messed up but I guess it’s just my lot in life to stick up for you, even if it means that I take your side over mine in every argument.

What’s coming up next on the Bard Brawl? Blood, and lots of it. Stay tuned!

If you like sonnets, or the Bard, or the Bard Brawlers, or cats, or Batman, or hockey, or poems, or artwork, or Game of Thrones, or Star Wars, or anything else you can think of, why not pick up a copy of the first edition of ‘Zounds!, a Bard Brawl Journal.

'Zounds!, Act I,i
‘Zounds!, Act I,i

Winter, 2014: ‘Zounds! Act I,scene i – One to Seventeen –

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BB: Timon of Athens, Act IV

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(Podcast recorded and produced by Daniel J. Rowe, blog written and edited by Eric Jean)

The table is set, the guests drenched in lukewarm water and the flatterers pelted with rocks. It time for act IV of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Timon of Athens!

Listen to or download the podcast.

Welcome back Brawlers. Last show Timon’s ‘friends’ were “touched and found base metal” by his servants so that Timon finally figured out that he was penniless and friendless and that pretty much no one but his servants cared that he was totally bankrupt.

With nothing left for him in Athens by the start of act IV, he decides that all human beings are disgusting, two-faced scumbags and so he does the only sensible thing and runs off to live in the wilderness by himself. Insert litany of curses and well-wishes: may your prostitutes be considered virgins, may the young steal from and beat up the old, may your state be a lawless cesspool fueled by avarice and lust.

So, it turns out that the only friends Timon has are his servants, with Flavius being particularly vocal about how it falls to the servants to try to help Timon out however they can. “Flavour’ Flavious runs off to find and continue to serve Timon at the end of scene 2.

Remind you of a certain Kent from act I of King Lear?

Seems that by scene 3, Timon has moved into a cave with a view, at the edge of some woods, right by the seashore. Seems like things might be looking up for this foraging caveman misanthrope.

As he’s digging for some roots to eat, Timon finds some gold. Timon’s about to bury all of it again when he hears some marching music in the distance. He buries most of the gold but keeps some of it, so he can torment the other humans with it, very likely. Alcibiades, who has been banished from Athens and now gathers up an army to assault the city, wanders by Timon and his cave.

Alcibiades figures out who this is but has no idea what happened back in Athens and why Timon is out here in the woods. Just like we have no idea why Alcibiades is leading an army flanked by two prostitutes. But, seeing as they are there, Timon sees an opportunity to use them in the war effort: he gives them gold and asks them to infect every in Athens with the STDs they are undoubtedly carrying. Timon also gives Alcibiades gold to make sure that he slaughters everyone in Athens. Lovely.

As soon a Alcibiades leaves, Apemantus shows up. They swap insult and wish one another a long and painful life, full of suffering, before they quickly part ways.

When Apemantus exits, some bandits, having heard that Timon found gold, show up to steal it. Timon gives them the gold and sends them off to Athens to rob all of the lying thieves in Athens blind. And maybe slit a few throats while they’re at it.

Finally, Flavius shows up and offers his continued service to Timon. His former master is about to turn him away but Flavius manages to convince him that maybe not every human being is a totally reprehensible entity entirely bereft of honestly and worth. So, Timon amends his position: all of humanity needs to die, except for Flavius.So Timon gives him some money and chases him off.

What’s left now that Timon’s given all of his money away. Again?

Tune in to the next episode to find out.

Sonnet 33 read by first-time sonneteer David Kandestin.

 

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