A nest of singing birds; 3; Sonnet 1
A nest of singing birds. Three centuries of English verse with a doctorate from just. The sonnet. This is the first of three talks on the Sonnets. After writing expansively in blank verse Wordsworth found it refreshing and sustaining to restrict himself to the 14 lines of a sonnet and to meet the demands of its rhyme scheme. So he tells us in his sonnet on the sonnet with its well-known assurance nuns Fret not at their convent sells the sonnet form had a burst of popularity with the Romantics in the early 19th century. But the great age of Sonnet hearing in English was in roughly the century after fifteen fifty. Then the poets of the age of Shakespeare whom we may call some of the sweetest singers of our midst of singing birds wrote sonnets for the most part in those collections called sequences that time of year. Mais. When yellow leaves or if you do hang upon those boughs which shake against the
code band really and clad their late this week the birds sang. In me sees to the twilight of such day as after sunset. Fate is in the way. Which by and by black night take away death's second to settle that seals up all the rest. In me thou cease the glowing of such fire that on the ashes of his youth that life has the deathbed bread on it must expire. Concealed with that which it was and that they should by. This perceive this which makes my lover more strong. To love that way. But Mr. Levy you know. That of course was sonnet number 73 by Shakespeare. By the
middle of the sixteenth century it was usual to construct a sonnet in two main sections first in the octave of eight lines. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day. Not a lot more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake The Darling Buds of May and Summer's Lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines and often is his gold complection dimmed and everything. From fair sometimes declines by chance or Nature's changing course untrimmed. Is it a good idea to compare the person you love to a day in the summer. Before we answer let's remember that Shakespeare was an Englishman. He was thinking about the English summer. The first four lines say that the English summer is not lovely or temperate enough nor does it last long enough to make the comparison valid.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day. A lot more lively and more temperate. Rough winds do shake The Darling Buds of May and summer's release hath all too short a date. Now the poet had to prove his point further he develops the argument that summer is not temperate enough. Some time too hot the eye of heaven shines and often is his gold complection dimmed and everything there. From fair sometimes declines by chance or Nature's changing course untrimmed if a garden is not trimmed its beauty fades in the normal course of nature and nothing beautiful lasts when exposed to chance. The Octavia asks the question and tells us that it is not enough to compare this person to a summer's day. But thy eternal some I shall not fade nor lose possession of
that fear about know I shall death brag that one dressed in his shade when in eternal lyings to time thou grossed two more lines to clinch the argument so long as men can breathe or I as can see so long lives this and this gives life to the much is said in those few lines no more than 14 of them much about life and beauty death immortality even about the English weather. And through it all there glows the poet's affection for the person here dresses delighted to do him this service. In so short a poem so much is said thanks to the compact organizing of language and meaning from meaning the rhythm emerges every fair from FAIR sometime digs names and nor lose possession of that fear. The ost of course means bonus.
The rhymes are exact and inevitable. The images are not only beautiful they express intellectual ideas. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day. Not a lot more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake The Darling Buds of May and Summer's Lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines and often is his gold complection dimmed and everything. From fair sometimes declines by chance or Nature's changing course untrimmed but thy eternal summer I shall not fade nor lose possession of that fear the outpost nor show death brag of our wondrous in his shade when in eternal lines to time thou gravest so long as men can breathe or eyes can see
so long lives this and this gives life to me. A poem of fourteen lines with rhymes variously disposed according to the practices of different nations and poets. That's a good academic definition of a sonnet. The form is usually written in the dominant meter of the language concerned in English that is the pentameter. The five foot line each short of two syllables. Whoever invented the form either in Provence or Sicily it was practiced in Italy by Denton and his friends and by Petra in England sonnets were written first by Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of sari. Some of their eyes were later printed in titles misselling even fifteen fifty seven Shakespeare's Sonnet on the summer's day treats the theme of immortality and how to attain it. In this case by being the subject of a poem Here's another on that theme by Edmund Spencer One day I wrote her name upon the strand but came the waves and
washy did the work. Again I wrote it with a second hand but came the tide and made my pains his prey. The poet was trying the impossible and his lady tells him as much in the next quatrain mean man said she that dust in vain that's a mortal thing so to immortalize for I myself shall like to this stick and eke my name they wipe it out. Likewise eke their means also as we go from octave in the sestet the rhymes change with the change in content. The point now insists he is not working in vain. Not so quoth I that they sell things devised to die in dust but you shall live by faith. My verse. Your virtues rare Shiela. And in
the heavens writes Your glorious name. And again the argument is clinched with a couplet where when as death shall all the world subdue. Our love shall live and later life renewed. I'd like to hear that through again. One day I wrote her name upon the strand but came the way and washy did the work. Again I wrote it with a second hand but came the tide and made my pain's his prey. I mean man said she the dust in vain that's a mortal thing so to immortalize for I myself shall like to this dick and eke my name be wiped it out lie quiet.
Not so quoth I that they said things devised to die in dust. But you shall live by faith my verse your virtues rare shot of Etan and in the Heavens right your glorious name where when as death shall all the world to subdue you. Our love shall live and later life renewed. Of course we can't even begin to skim the vast number of sonnets written by the IT IS A B things. Here's one of my favorites by Shakespeare. Full many a glorious morning have I seen flatter the mountain tops but sob and I kissing with a golden face the meadows green gilding peyos streams with heavenly alchemy to flatter the mountain tops as to make them look better than the. Sovereign has two senses. First royal ordering and second medicinal giving health the next quatrain says that the morning
turns dull again we meet the English weather and the sun is obscured by darkening storm clouds and none permit the basest clouds to ride with hardly a rock on his celestial face and from the fore long world his visits hide stealing unseen to west with this disgrace. The octave says that the sun shone making the world seem better than it was but only for a short while and the sestet moves on from that. Even so my son one early morning did shine but all triumphant splendor on my brother. But I'll tell lad. He was but one eye in the region cloud has masked him from me now I've got him for this my love no quit distain you. Sons of the world maybe staying. In Heaven sounds stinging.
The region Cloud them means the cloud in this particular part of the country not the country as a home full many a glorious morning have I seen flatter the mountain tops but sob and I kissing with the golden face the meadows green gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy and none permit the bassists clouds to ride with hardly a rock on his celestial face and from the fore long world his visit chide stealing unseen to west with this disgrace. Even so my son one early morning did shine with all triumphant splendor on my brow. But I'll tell that he was but one eye in the region cloud half mask came from me not at him for this my love. No whit disdain you sons of the world may stay when Heaven's on Sting.
Now here's the first quatrain of another well-known sonnet by Shakespeare went to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up Remembrance of Things Past. I sigh the lack of many a thing I saw and with Old Rose new wailed my dear times ways. Then the central conceit involves the metaphor of the courtroom remembrances summoned up to a session to remember means to regret to have regret for so much once dearly sought which has now vanished and this leads to new sorrow. The legal terminology continues in the next quatrain death first night is dateless in legal jargon that means no term has been sent to it. Woe is cancelled and vanish sites have been expended that is paid away as in legal expenses.
Then can I drown then I unused to flow. Poor precious friends heed in death's dateless night and weep afresh lives long since cancelled woe and moan the expense of many advantage side. The beginning of the sestet here does not bring a change in the thought. And in the emotion instead the emotional results of remembering become more intense sorrows long outlived experienced and new legal terms continue. The poet has grievances his account is paid as if by order of a court. Then can I agree that grievances foregone and heavily from word to word tell or the sad account of forbidden moon it most which I knew pay as if not paid before now. 12 lines have told us. How the poet's grief increases for three quatrains sorrow intensifies and then in one
swift reversal all is changed by the concluding couplet. But if the choir I think on the D F ran or lost his stall and Saddam Hussein before we hear the whole point without interruption. Let's just consider some of the sound patterns quite apart from the rhymes. Notice how the patterns express relationships of meaning. Old was New Wave ground and used to flow. Weep afresh long since cancelled. Grief and grievance is the foregone of grievances foregone is related to for bemoan it which is itself willing to moan for bemoan need. Most modern critics who see such things on the printed page often wonder if it was possible for Elizabeth and listeners to hear them when the verse was read aloud. There is also a modern school of thought convinced that these figures were good because the Elizabethans were well
trained as listeners. There's something in that of course but I think that the Elizabethan listener could hear the patterns because the speaker was well-trained because he was a well-trained speaker. Listen to the result when the reader communicates the meaning of all the words. When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up Remembrance of Things Past. I sigh the lack of many a thing I saw and with old words new way of my dear times ways then can I drown and I unused to flow for precious friends hid in death's dateless night and weep afresh love's long since cancelled whirl and moan the expense of many advantage side. Then can I grieve that grievances fall gone and heavenly from word to word tell or the sad account of forbidden wounded mode which I knew pay as if not
paid before. But if the pile I think on the dear friend all losses are restored and Saddam Hussein drawn down of course was a contemporary of Shakespeare's but outlived him. Dunne developed his own variations on the sonnet structure and the round earth imagined co-owners blow your trumpets angels and Arise arise from their numberless infinities of souls and to your scattered bodies go or whom the flood did and fire shout overthrow. Oh whom more death age tyrannies despair lure chance hath slain and you whose eyes shone behold God and never taste death will I expect you noticed that he didn't end his thought at the end of the first quatrain.
And to your scattered bodies go all whom the flood did and fire or throw. He starts by imagining the day of judgment. Let it happen let the angels blow all them dead. Some who are still to die and the fortunate ones who enter heaven without death let them all go to their bodies. Then suddenly down stops he isn't ready yet. If he came to judgment now he would be damned. So in the sestet He starts by saying Don't let it happen. Not yet. Notice the play of ideas when he talks of his sins abounding. Instead of the more usual grace abounding so much sin requires an abundance of grace is what he says. But let them sleep lord and me mourn a space for if above all these my sins abound. Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace when we are there
here on this lowly ground. Teach me how to repent. For that's as good as if thou hadst see of my pardon with thy blood. Don begs to be taught to repent. If he could repent he would know he has been saved. His sin is despair to despair is to give up hope of being saved. To have no hope of salvation is the sin of despair. How can a human being break the vicious circle he cannot without the grace of God. The fluidity of this sonnet comes from the syntax and from the distribution of the rhymes at the round imagined corners blow your trumpets angels and Arise arise from their numberless infinities of symbols and to your scattered bodies go or whom the flood did and fire shout or throw. Oh whom Mord death age 8 used
to Vinnie's despair. Lure. Chance hath slain and you whose eyes shone behold God and never taste death this world. But let them sleep lord and me move on. A space for if above all these my sins abound. Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace when we are there here on this lonely ground. Teach me how to repent for that says Good. As if that had sealed my pardon with my blood. Here's another buy done this time the first quatrain doesn't run on into the second death be not proud. Though some have called it the mighty and dreadful for thou art not so. For those whom thou thinks thou dust overthrow di not pour death. Nor yet can style kill me if sleep is the image of
death than the rest which we get from the image must be intensified in the reality. After all our best men go to death for rest and freedom of their souls from rest and sleep which but die pictures bee much pleasure then from the much more mist. And soonest our best men with the. Rest of their buns and Soden stood in for the the sestet continues the same train of thought quite logically why should death pop himself up with pride. Weiss wealth then. That slave to fate chance. Kings and desperate men. And dust with poison. War and sickness tomorrow. And Poppy or charms can make us sleep as well and better than die stroke or ice wells rather than. One short sleep pass. We wake eternally. And there shall be no
more. That thou shall die. Antithesis is very effective here. One short sleep passed. We wait eternally the sleep of death is short. The waking after it lasts for ever. Death be not proud though some have call it the mighty and dreadful for thou art not so. For those whom thou thinks thou dost overthrow die not pore dead. Nor yet can style kill me from rest and sleep. Which But die pictures bee much pleasure then from the much more mist. And soonest our best men with thee do go rest of their buns and so that's to do for the. Thought slave to fate chance. Kings and desperate men and dust with poison. War and sickness tomorrow. And Poppy or
charms can make us sleep as well and better than die stroke WEISS Well the thought of than. One short sleep pass we wake eternally. And death shall be no more. Death Diao shall die from done. Back to Shakespeare. Not man imploring God this time but man speaking to remonstrating with another man. Why did Starr promise such a beauteous day and make me travel forth without my cloak to let base cloud saw take me on my way. Hiding their bravery in their rocket smoke smoke their means thick vapor Shakespeare uses the words rotten smoke to transmit to us not only the visual image of dark vapors but the intellectual idea of something ingloriously dull. Hiding all sparkling of spirit.
Let's have the next quatrain of this sonnet. Number 34. Tis not enough but through the clouds I'll break to dry the rain on my stone beaten face for no man well of such outside of can speak that heals the wound and cures not to the disgrace in the sense that takes up an idea which has emerged at the end of the Arctic porno manwell of such a so can speak. But he was the wound and cures not the disgrace. In the third quatrain the poet insists that his friend's assurance of regret is no replacement of his last. Only in the couplet is there satisfaction that tears genuine sorrow. Make up for all the torment. Nor can I shame give physic to my grief though that I repent yet I have still looked at loss the offender's Sato lens but weak relief to him that bears the strong offenses cross
but those tears up which thy love shed and they are rich and Ransom all will be before we hear this sonnet straight through a few words on technique. The compression of the rhythm derives from antithesis bravery. They're rotten smoke he was the wound killers not the disgrace that I shame my grief repent I have still the loss. Why did Starr promise such a beauteous day and make me travel forth without my cloak to let base clouds or take me in my way. Hiding via bravery in rotten smoke just not enough but through the clouds break to dry or the rain on my storm beaten face for no man well of such a south can speak that heals the wound and cures not of the disgrace nor can by shame give physic to my
grief. Though that I repent yet I have still the loss the offender's Sarto lens but we could relief to him that bears the strong offenses cross but those tears are pearl which Diana shared. And they are rich and Ransom all will be now something more desolate. Militants lament for his dead wife. This has an unusual structure. In the first quatrain Milton says he dreamt he saw her brought from the grave and the second quatrain starts with the word mine. The rest of the four lines own parenthesis as whom washed from the spot of trial that taint purification in the old law did say. And such as you get once more I trust to have full sight of her in heaven without restraint. The verb belonging to mine emerges as the first word of the sestet.
Mine came vested all in white. Octavia and sestet are linked in this way. And I thought I saw my latest spies at St.. Brought to me like I was sesterces from the grave whom Jos great Santa her GLADD husband gave rescued from death by force though pale and faint. Mine has who lost from spot of child dead taint purification in the old lot did say. And such as you get once more I trust to have full sight of her in heaven without restraint came vested all in white pure as her mind. Her face was veiled yet to my fancied sight. Love Sweet news. Goodness in her person shines so clear. I see no face with more delight. But as to embrace me she inclined. I
wait. She fled and brought back my knight. You have been listening to the first programme on the summit in our period of three hundred years of English verse the verse was read by Duncan Ross and Barry Boyce. This is Burton June inviting you to be with us again next week. This program was produced by Radio Broadcast Services of the University of Washington under a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the national educational radio network.
- A nest of singing birds
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- Sonnet 1
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Chicago: “A nest of singing birds; 3; Sonnet 1,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 5, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-v11vk19s.
- MLA: “A nest of singing birds; 3; Sonnet 1.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 5, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-v11vk19s>.
- APA: A nest of singing birds; 3; Sonnet 1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-v11vk19s