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: Pericles, Act IV

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

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

Did you miss us? I bet you did!

The Bard Brawl is back and ready to come out swinging with this week’s recording of act IV of Pericles, Prince of Tyre!

Listen to or download the podcast. (And hey, it’s been a while so why no go back and read up on acts I, II and III?)

Once again, Gower’s prologue (starts with “Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre”) open’s up the act. Pericles is back in Tyre. He thinks his wife is dead but she’s alive and living as a nun in Ephesus. Their daughter, Marina, is living in Tarsus with Cleon and Dionyza. There’s a but of a problem, though: Dionyza is jealous that Marina is better/more beautiful than her own daughter so she decides she’s going to have her killed.

That’s the scene which is presented to us in act IV, scene 1. Dionyza has hired Leonine to kill Marina. Dionyza tells maria to go take a walk with the man she has never met. Seems they head for the docks, based on what happens next. (So he can dump the body into the ocean maybe?) Anyhow, when Leonine grabs marina to kill her, a bunch of pirates (yay!) show and scare him off. Then, as pirates are wont to do, they claim her as booty and run off to their ship. Leonine figures he’s seen probably seen the last of her but decides that he’d best follow along. You know, to make sure that they kill her once they rape her.

As it happens, the pirates don’t rape her (if we believe Marina as well as the aptly named First Pirate). Instead we learn at the start of scene 2 that she has been sold to a brothel in Mytilene. The prostitute population of Mytilene is not what it used to be so Pandar, Bawd and Boult buy her figuring they can make a bunch of money by selling her virginity to some pervert. Of course, Marina isn’t planning to comply with this but they spread the word about town anyhow in search of a buyer.

Back to Tarsus where Dionyza breaks the news of Marina’s death to Cleon. He whines about what they’ll tell Pericles when he comes looking for his daughter but Dionyza basically says: tell him she dies. The end. While he seems about to argue with her, Dionyza seems pretty confident that the weak-willed Cleon will just do whatever she says. Yup.

Gower makes a surprise appearance in scene 4 (starts with “Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short”) to narrate what happens next (see it only as a dumb show): Pericles goes to Tarsus where he learns his daughter is dead. He puts on some rags, vows never shave again, and heads out to sea once more. Gower closes with Marina’s epitaph – what was written by that harpy, Dionyza.

Scene 5 is a short exchange between two men, just outside the brothel in Mytilene. Apparently, someone in the brothel is showing sinners the errors of their ways. Huh. Now that is strange.

Of course, we find out in scene 6 that Marina is behind all of this, much to Pandar, Boult and Bawd’s chagrin. Seems she’s been converting the patrons to virtue. These pimps did manage to find a buyer for Marian: Lysimachus, the governor of Mytilene is very interested in Marina. They all try to convince Marina to give up the goods, but she resists. During her conversation with Lysimachus, he realises that she is noble-born and that she is the one pure thing in the city. Boult devices he’ll rape her so she’ll get over the whole virginity thing but he reminds him that Pandar and Bawd would kick his ass so he holds off for now.

Next week (no, really, we promise!) we’ll be back with the final act of this crazy rape-y, incest-filled play.

If you want to follow along the acts in a version of the play which is not so messed up, this is the app most of the brawlers use when we record. As a bonus, each play comes with a breakdown of scenes and characters. You should check it out.

Also, it’s always nice to have some Shakespeare with you at all times, in case you need an emergency soliloquy.

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