Thursday, June 14, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 19.35 (William Shakespeare)

Shakespeare's Poems
Shakespeare, William
Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, and the Minor Poems

I should list this the same way I have the other books, using the spine text as the title, but "Shakespeare's Poems" is not as interesting as what is on the title page. I have noted a number of instances in this collection where the title page and spine text do not match. I guess the format of the book and the type of lettering they used for the cover limited the number of characters that could be used on the spine. The titles on the inside of the book tend to be much longer than the spine text or, as here, they're something else altogether.

As I opened this book, a name on the series masthead caught my attention: Wilbur L. Cross. It rang a bell. I remembered just the other day noticing a high school in our neighborhood bearing that name. There's also a highway called the Wilbur Cross Expressway that passes by New Haven to the west. Well, I looked him up. In addition to being the editor of the Yale Shakespeare, he also edited the Yale review for 30 years, wrote a book on Lawrence Sterne, and was elected Governor of Connecticut four times during the 1930's.

In other Shakespeare news, I saw this image posted on Facebook yesterday and thought I'd share it with all my Elizabethan friends.

from Venus and Adonis

EVEN as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him.

'Thrice-fairer than myself,' thus she began,
'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.

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