Saturday, April 04, 2020

National Poetry Month, Day 4

I had a little bit of a breakdown this morning, crying tears into my cup of tea, brought by my long-suffering husband, for whom I'm so grateful. He's been soothing my breakdowns for many years now, the poor guy.

A few minutes after our conversation, said long-suffering husband posted a poem in the #PoeticQuarantine on Facebook. It's by William Shakespeare, no stranger to quarantine himself. I decided to share that same poem here.

I went back and looked on this blog at all the times I've shared this particular Shakespeare sonnet - three, I believe. There was this time, back in 2011, when I was happily reflecting on the abundance of love in my life. There was this time, in 2015, when I was about to take my daughter to college in another country and leave here there and come back home without her. And there was this time, in 2018, when I paired Shakespeare's sonnet with one of my own (the hubris of it!) as I thought about the evil in the world.

I'm thankful that I am not "all alone" as Shakespeare was, but I can relate to some of the other feelings he expresses here. Eventually I'll work my way to the conclusion he comes to in his final couplet. I know I will. Just give me a minute to beweep and bewail and bemoan. I'll have something more cheerful to share tomorrow.

Sonnet XXIX
William Shakespeare

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,
Featured like him, like him with friends possest,
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, sings hymns at Heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.

Speaking of something more cheerful, the Progressive Poem is well underway, and today Liz Steinglass has the fourth line, in fact two lines, as everyone has been doing this year. It's up to the next person to pick which one of the two lines to choose. I like what's happening so far! Looking forward to whatever comes next!

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth,
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan 


Tabatha said...

Glad your husband gives you tea and sonnets. Is "beweep" a word? If so, it is seriously underutilized. (If not, same.) Have you seen Matthew Macfadyen recite it? *swoons*

Liz Steinglass said...

I have been crying quite suddenly at odd moments--often seeing people on zoom and feeling strongly that it is so wrong to see people that way. Thanks for sharing this poem. What do you make of bootless cries. I picture someone stomping a bare foot and it not feeling as good as a stomp with a boot. : )

Ruth said...

Liz, I love your word picture, but bootless is just an old word for useless. :-)

Ruth said...

And Tabatha, if Shakespeare can use beweep, so can I. :-)

Linda Kulp Trout said...

I've had tears come unexpectedly, especially when watching the stories of all those who are suffering. It feels unreal, and yet it is all too real. Thank you for sharing Shakespeare's poem. Stay well and hug that husband of yours. He's a keeper!