4 Jan 2011

Shakespeare's sonnets are crying



There is a fantastic web site devoted to the sonnets of William Shakespeare. It also used to be really beautiful, with a deep blue background, fine typography, and no advertising. Unhappily the blue background has been scrapped in favour of a banal cream coloured one, and advertisements for boots and shoes (of all things!) and other totally unrelated stuff has crept onto the front page. This makes me sad, and I expect Shakepeare as well. But who knows, as he might well have loved the irony of it all. Anyway, we all have to live somehow and the site is well worth visiting, not just to read the sonnets, but to see the extensive and well-researched comments that explain the 16th century English used and the many references involved, not to mention the necessary interpretations to be attempted. The site is very well constructed and easy to use. It is incredibly rich.

So here it is folks: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/

And you get a sonnet (number 106) to boot!

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.


Read on....