Sunday, 28 February 2010

Shakespeare's Sonnet Sunday: Sonnet 8

Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: 'Thou single wilt prove none.'

1. Why is it that, when there is music to listen to, you are saddened by it?
2. Happy music should result in happiness.
3. Why do you pretend to love what you don't really want?
4. And receive with pleasure what clearly annoys you?
5. If the uniting sounds
6. Played together in harmony offend you,
7. If they bother you when together
8. But played alone you can bear it
9. Look at how the strings, played together on the Lute (popular in Shakespeare's day)
10. The strings reverberate against each other in appropriate order.
11. Like a happy family with husband, child and mother
12. Who together make a happy sound.
13. Though made up of many components are actually one.
14. And one string played alone will actually be nothing.

This sonnet can have two meanings...

1) The one above or...

2) The idea of marriage with it's responsibilities to wife and bearing children may seem tiresome. Being single is like playing only one string of an instrument or one instrument of an orchestra... it's really nothing.

Sidenote: Going to the USA/Mexico border today... if you don't hear from me in a few days... well. Not to worry you, I'll probably be fine. It's an adventure... right?


Mason Canyon said...

Enjoy your reflections on the sonnet. Both very good. Have fun at the border, but be safe.

Laura said...

Ann, you have an award in my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this post!

Hope you enjoy yourself at the border!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Nice post. I really enjoyed it.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Mason, thank you and I did arrive safely home... I guess it's not as bad as they suggested on the new. I saw NO dead bodies. Only on the covers of newspapers...

Laura, thank you so much, I will mention your blog tomorrow.

Vicki, thank you and yes I did.

JW, thank you...


Anonymous said...

Oh - yes, I'm starting to get these. They've got to be read in one stream, not sentence by sentence, because the whole sonnet is one unit. I've been trying to read it in fourteen pieces...

Good luck at the border!! Call out a hello to me! :)


from the desk of a writer

Ann Elle Altman said...

COrra, that is the key. They are themed... like the sun or the seasons or instruments....

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