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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Stay in touch, Brawlers!

Follow @TheBardBrawl on Twitter.

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Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

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BB: Twelfth Night, The Speeches

artwork - Leigh MacRae
artwork – Leigh MacRae

Welcome Brawlers to the speeches (and scenes) podcast of Twelfth Night!

Listen to or download the podcast.

As usual, we’ve picked out a few memorable or interesting moments from our recording of Twelfth Night. It was a blast to read and record.

No nobles were maimed in the recording of this podcast.

“O that I served that lady…” Act 1, Scene 2, lns 42-60
Speakers: Captain, Viola
In this scene, Viola washes up on shore and realises the following two things:

  1. “I am a young, unmarried woman with no chaperone. I have no father or brother around to guard me from any potential suitors. This is a dangerous situation. I could be raped or claimed as booty at any time!
  2. “I am a young, unmarried woman with no chaperone. I have no father or brother around to guard me from any potential suitors. This is an awesome situation. If I play my cards right, I will actually get the choose my own husband!

So what is her proposed solution? Dress up in her twin brother’s clothes and hide out as an eunuch. By the way, eunuch here doesn’t necessarily mean a castrated man but rather a chamberlain, someone who takes care of someone’s bedchamber. It’s a pretty good description of what Viola is supposed to be doing: finding a way to get Olivia into Orsino’s bedchamber. Instead she manages to put exactly who she wants in that bedchamber – herself. Clever girl.

Daniel thought it was pretty interesting to consider that in a play where the main character spends over 95% of the length of the play in disguise, she should be so quick to judge the captain’s trustworthiness based on his looks. I agree.

“Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her…” Act 2, Scene 2, lns 13-41
Speakers: Malvolio, Viola
We were pretty sure that Malvolio and Viola didn’t really interact in the play but this scene proves us wrong. It’s especially shameful on our part given that this is one of the most well-known speeches in Twelfth Night.

Olivia, who is trying to nail Cesario, send him a ring via Malvolio. It’s as soon as he leaves Viola with this ring that she realises what’s going on here: Viola loves Orsino but can’t have him without exposing her identity; Orsino is expecting Viola to win Olivia for him which means that Viola won’t be able to get him. To make matters worse, Olivia seems to be in love with Cesario… but has no clue that Cesario is actually a woman.

Does Viola freak out? Nope. She just assumes that this will all work itself out in the end somehow in time.

Huh. I guess she must have read this play already.

By the way, what will we ever do without Zoey nearby?

“What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my lady…” Act 2, Scene 3, lns 68-112
Speakers: Maria, Sir Toby Belch, Feste the Clown, Sir Andrew Aguecheek
When it comes to Sir Toby, Aguecheek and company, there are so many entertaining moments that it’s hard to choose. Honestly, we picked this scene (and let it play for a while) because we love Jay Reid’s drunken singing so much.

Can you hear us all laughing our asses off in the background? Yeah, that’s the idea. Lest anybody get confused: we’re not interested in scholarship and research, deep insights and exploring the meaning of it all. We like reading Shakespeare because we find it fun to do, to mess around with and to mess up. Often.

There are enough people who take their Shakespeare like cod liver oil: good for you but tastes awful. I say you should let the kids have a damned hot-dog from time to time. They don’t need to know it’s a nitrate-free, 100% certified organic grass-fed beef super hot-dog that costs about $40 for a package of 12.

Pass the relish!

“M, O, A, I; this simulation is not as the former: and…” Act 2, Scene 5, lns 131-150
Speakers: Malvolio
This scene of Malvolio reading a letter aloud may contain one of the most often misquoted speeches in Shakespeare. It’s not that people get the words wrong, it’s that they use the quote completely out of context.

How many of you have heard some or all of this before?

be not afraid of greatness: some
are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust upon ’em

Fellow trekkies may remember a certain episode of DS9 where Worf recalls a very similar speech which was allegedly spoken by Kahless to convince general Martok to claim the mantle of leadership of the Klingon high council.

Do you find these words encouraging? Do they make you want to risk everything on the chance of success? Do they inspire your to seek out your destiny?

On their own, they might. But this ‘speech’ is in a letter, written by Maria, which has only one purpose: to goad Malvolio into making a pass at his boss so Maria, Sir Toby and the other can make fun of him when he gets shot down.

I always thought that Worf liked you Martok but I seems he’s just an ass looking for a good laugh at your expense.

“This is the air; that is the glorious sun…” Act 4, scene 3, lns 1-21
Speakers: Sebastian
This is one another one of the commonly quoted speeches in this play. It’s Sebastian’s ‘pinch me now, I must be dreaming’ moment.

And why shouldn’t he think this? Antonio gave him a pouch of money to keep and hasn’t asked for it back and Olivia, a beautiful and wealthy widow, married him within moments of meeting him.

Easiest booty call ever.

What surprises me about this speech is that Sebastian is looking for Antonio so he can get an explanation for what is going. Why not ask Olivia: “Hi. Thank you for your interest in me. I am flattered and looking forward to our nuptial hour. However, could you please explain to me who you think I am so I can do my best to meet your expectations? Thank you.”

I guess he figures that if it is a dream, he’s not about to ruin it by risking an argument with his sugar mommy wife.

In the next two weeks the Bard Brawl is about to start its seventh play. How awesome is that?

Even more awesome: I promise you pirates! (Your experience may vary. Results not typical.)

But first, stay tuned for our next sonnets podcast which will be up shortly.

Sonnet 34 read by first time sonneteer Jay Reid.

Stay in touch, Brawlers!

Follow @TheBardBrawl on Twitter.

Like our Facebook page.

Email the Bard Brawl at bardbrawl@gmail.com

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Or leave us a comment right here!

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