Monday, April 30, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 19 (William Shakespeare)

Sonnets
Shakespeare, William
Sonnets


Purchased on eBay as part of a set. I thought I had purchased the whole shebang, but it turned out the set was missing a play or two. I can't remember which ones at the moment. If you want to have a handy, readable set of Shakespeare's plays around, there are some great deals to be had on the Yale Shakespeare. It sure beats trying to read the plays out of some gargantuan fifty-pound omnibus, and these tend to keep a bit better than the cheap paperbacks you use in college courses. I think I got my set for thirty dollars or so.

I have a memory of a visit by Matvei Yankelevich, Genya Turovskaya and Anna Moschovakis to our house in the Black Rock neighborhood in Buffalo that I associate with these books. I had brought the three of them, all members of the editorial collective at Ugly Duckling Presse, to read at Just Buffalo and to give a talk at Buffalo State College. One evening, I was in the kitchen with Matvei when he noticed that our two cats, Baby and Mama, had shoved themselves into a small box on kitchen floor.

Both were rather large cats, especially Baby, and they barely fit. Normally, we'd set out two boxes leftover from our coffee shipments. They were each about the right size for one cat. On this occasion, however, I had just received my Yale Shakespeare set in the mail. It came in a box slightly large than the coffee boxes the cats were used to, and I think they both wanted to try out the new thing.

When Matvei noticed the two of them snoozing in the box, I pointed out to him that it was my Shakespeare box. He seemed pleased by this.

from Sonnets

73


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined 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,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
             This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
             To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.


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