Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sonnet Sunday: Shakespeare

April 23 is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and most likely his birth (he was christened on the 26th). On the 28th of this month the RSC’s Hamlet premieres in America on the PBS series Great Performances.

Sonnet 98
From you have I been absent in the spring
When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seem’d it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.

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