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Friday, November 16, 2007

Poetry Friday- Samuel Daniel and William Shakespeare

I have to admit, as much as I enjoy Poetry Friday, I don't often spend a lot of time on those entries which offer up really old (read: public domain) poetry. I don't know where this aversion comes from, but I know it's a problem and I'm working on it. Right now I'm reading Immortal Poems of the English Language which was compiled by Oscar Williams and spans from the 1300s to the mid-1900s. Happily, I've been able to enjoy some so far. In particular, these two stuck out:

Care-charmer Sleep
by Samuel Daniel

Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
Brother to Death, in silent darkness born:
Relieve my languish, and restore the light,
With dark forgetting of my cares, return;
And let the day be time enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth:
Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the torment of the night's untruth.
Cease dreams, th' imagery of our day-desires,
To model forth the passions of the morrow;
Never let rising sun approve you liars,
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow.
Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain;
And never wake to feel the day's disdain.


My Mistress' Eyes
by William Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

(For my regular readers, I'll be out until Monday. Headed to Yellowknife for the weekend. Yay!)

11 comments:

TadMack said...

I have to admit that I don't always like oldies, but these are both quite nice; the second one I had read at my wedding celebration (the non courthouse ceremony). The 'hair as wires,' etc. really shocked some people, but I was amused, which was what counted that day!

Cloudscome said...

Yep, I often don't have the patience to read the older, longer ones. Thanks for spurring me onward!

Kelly Fineman said...

TadMack: I think the reeking breath is worse than the wiry hair, really.

John: I go with the public domain stuff unless (like today) I can put together a post that goes into comparison, education or analysis and/or is a selection representative of a collection as part of a review, therefore making it "okay" under US copyright laws for me to post something that's still under copyright. (Or, of course, if I can get permissions.) I'd never seen the first poem before - thanks for posting it!

Sara said...

TadMack, you rock.

For the record, Shakespeare is never an "old" one for me. Other stuff, yes, sometimes I need hand-holding, like the poster's personal connection to it, or an explanation about the poet's life or a little known fact. Not that I can't appreciate a longer, older poem without that, but on Poetry Friday, there is a lot to soak up.

laura salas said...

This is a fun one. I was laughing out loud. And what a nice ending. Loving and accepting the reality rather than a fantasy...what a concept!

Thanks!

John Mutford said...

Tadmack: Perhaps more importantly, how did your wife take it?

Cloudscome: I agree, it's usually the longer ones that send me running. One of the things I appreciate most about poetry is the ability to express a thought so eloquently but with so little.

Kelly: I hope I don't imply that you or others shouldn't post older stuff. I'm sure some of it's quite good and sometimes it's interesting to just see what others connect with. I agree though that one obvious advantage is to avoid the copyright police.

Sara: I'm not keen on a lot of old British literature, but yes, Shakespeare has been an exception. However, the first few of his poems in this book had a few too many "hey nonny hos" for me. Still, the ones I liked, I really liked.

Laura: It really appealed to me for that reason too. It's quite interesting to read that and then compare it to his "It is the east and Juliet is the sun" speech. One seems to mock the notion of exaggerated sentimentality while the other revels in it. Both brilliant.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

With reeking breath, I wish you a great mini-break. Some suggestions - go to some restaurants, see some shows, buy some music. An order - have fun.

Allison said...

I do enjoy old poetry, but probably just as much as the new. It really just depends on my mood when reading.

I hope you're having a fantastic weekend away!

John Mutford said...

Barbara: I'm here for Literacy Council meetings actually, so there's not a whole lot of time for all that- but to ease your mind, I haven't eaten out, did buy a book and watched the Santa Claus parade.

Allison: I know what your saying about mood but my moods tend to be more open to newer (and that's relative since a lot of what I like comes from the 50s and 60s) poetry.

Carrie K said...

My tastes in poetry skew older so I appreciate the poem by Samuel Daniel as I've not heard it before. I'd love to hear it read out loud.

Enjoy Yellowknife! And the Literacy Council meetings. Although probably over now.

John Mutford said...

Carrie: I hadn't heard it before either, and as an insomnia sufferer, I really appreciate it.

Ooops, Barbara, I meant to say that I have eaten out! And is there anything better than calamari?