Shakespeare (Sonnet 73)

Leaves Leaf Maple Leaf Fall Color Autumn Forest

AG: And (Jack) Kerouac’s favorite (Shakesperean Sonnet) was Sonnet 73 (page 215) which is the same thought but even more beautifully and more mellowly expressed, as an appeal, actually an appeal to his boyfriend that “You’d better… Let’s make it now. We ain’t got much more time. We can only have it now and if we delay and if we confuse the matter, that time is going to pass and the possibility of the bliss that we might have had on earth is going to go by. So we’d better do it.” , or “You’d better..better listen to me” – “That time..” – because he’s getting old anyway. “Ruin has taught me thus to ruminate” and “that time” will come (with death) and take my love away, (well, it’s already happening to Shakespeare, he’s getting old and feeling it, and this is his last chance for great romance)

That time of year thou may’st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

That’s always a great argument. If you’re in a dubious situation with, love, pull out that sonnet. Because it’s like the great gamble – “you better love it while you’ve got it”, or “you better take advantage of it while you have it”, and “just in case”, you know, “just in case it’s possible, we’d better try and make it now, just in case, otherwise,, the moment will go by” – But it’s a great persuasive.. a great mode of persuasion if you (quote) this one. If you’ve got somebody that you really want and they’re dubious and not quite sure -“To love that well which thou must leave ere long.” – (because..what.. see, it’s a double thing, you see, because what that means is, really, you’re not going to make it forever, so that he doesn’t have to be worried about being stuck with you) – “To love that well which thou must leave ere long.”. (So, therefore, since they’re not going to be stuck with you, there’s no danger in going all the way, (because then you can get out of it, either because you’re all going to die someday or , because, you know, there’ll be something else happening)

But it’s kind of interesting – “This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong/To love that well which thou must leave ere long” – So they must have had a real understanding on this point, a real understanding temporarily, that they really did like each other and were going to make out. You know, must have made a vow to each other and said “Okay, let’s do it”, you know, “take the world to bed with us before we die”, or some total commitment to each other, so that he’s able to say “which makes thy love more strong”, as if it were a fait accompli, as if actually it happened (because I don’t think he would dare say it – otherwise he would say “which might make your love more strong”, or “could make your love more strong”, but he says “which makes..”, as if they’ve already had some tacit approval of this enterprise (of the thought)..  But he’s a little worried that his friend by thoughtlessness will damage the delicacy of the moment (you now, will turn away, or, you know, not pay attention, or not take it as seriously as Shakespeare, or not get into it as deeply as Shakespeare, (or) at least for the moment, because Shakespeare’s pleading that  “For the moment, take me a hundred percent seriously and give me everything, and I’ll give you everything. For the moment. Because you know it’s not going to last, so there’s no harm, so please stay with me now, and, you know, you could hurt me if you want to, but you don’t have to, and if you don’t hurt me, think of what sweetness it will be”.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-eight-and-a-half minutes in]  

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