Shakespeare (Sonnet 57)

Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare’s Sonnets continued.

AG: Then, a very poignant one that …number 64…well, no, no, no, number 57 (which you don’t have), where he really gets so pushed in the love affair that he gets into a sort of sado-masochistic relation and will give anything if his boyfriend will be nice to him – number 57, which you don’t have, so I’ll read it, beginning, ominously “Being your slave..” (So, actually, it’s a slave-master relation that he’s setting up)

Being your slave, what should I do but tend Upon the hours and times of your desire? … Read More

Shakespeare (Sonnet 35)


Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare’s Sonnets (continuing from here)

No more be griev’d 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 … Read More

Shakespeare – Sonnet 33

[J,M.W. Turner Norham Castle Sunrise, collection of the Tate Gallery, London]

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 splendor on my brow; But out! alack! he was but one hour mine, The region cloud hath mask’d … Read More

Shakespeare – Sonnet 30


[Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate) (Trauernder alter Mann) (1890) –Vincent Van Gogh – oil on canvas 31/9 x 25.6 inches – Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands]

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, unus’d to flow, For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe, And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight: Then … Read More

Shakespeare – Sonnets 29 & 18


[“Like to the lark at break of day arising….”]

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d, Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, … Read More

Shakespeare – Sonnet 20


[Portrait of 16th Century Flemish gentleman, artist unknown]

A woman’s face with Nature’s own hand painted Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion; A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion; An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, Much steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created; Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my … Read More

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20 – 1 (“Something of a key”)


[“A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted/Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion”]

AG: Where is that now? Where are Shakespeare’s sonnets in this book ?

Student:   (Page) 212

AG:  Pardon me?

Student(s):  (Page) 212

AG: I began with the… what the..? “So long lives this and this gives life to thee” Sonnet – Sonnet 18 – didn’t I? – Didn’t we cover that, you know, as an example, of the prophesy of immortality for the poem? – Do you… How many people here have read Shakespeare’s Sonnets at one time or another? And how many have not ever … Read More

Review/Preview (Logopoeia in Shakespeare)


[Ezra Pound’s – Literary Essays  (New Directions, 1968) & Louis Zukofsky’s A Test of Poetry (Objectivist Press, 1948 – reprinted Wesleyan University Press, 2000)]

AG: What I’ve covered so far in this course, I don’t know if you’ve noticed (because I didn’t notice till I was walking up here tonight) was..I started with some definition by (Ezra) Pound – melopoeia (music), phanopoeia.. (phanopoeia – the picture cast in the mind’s eye, melopoeia, the music of the language, and logopoeia, “the dance of intellect among words”). That’s the… so it’s the.. According to (Louis) Zukofsky, his words for the same … Read More

Homework – Shakespeare’s Sonnets


Peter Orlovsky; What’s our work for Friday?

AG: Homework is to write a sonnet next – ABABCDCDEFEFGG – Shakesperean-type sonnet, simple Shakespearean easy sonnet. We’ve all done quatrains, now pentametric, basically pentametric quatrains, of course double-rhyme – ABABCDCDEFEFGG. And also read through all the Shakespeare Sonnets that you’ve got there , and if you can, get hold of all of the Shakespeare Sonnets and read them through like a novel

Student: Would you repeat that rhyme form again slowly?

AG: AB AB –  CD CD –  … Read More

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65



[William Shakespeare (1564-1616) –“The Chandos Portrait” (painted c. 1610)]

AG: So because there is that meeting place of all emotions and breath, of emotion and breath, and language, and cadence, because some poets arrive at it, therefore it’s possible for them to straighten their backs and say, “Not marble, nor the gilded monuments/ Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme”. He (Shakespeare) says it again in Sonnet 65, next page “Since brass..” (even brass now, not merely stone or marble gilded monuments but the actual solid brass itself) – “Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless … Read More