Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sonnet 86

I was feeling a little stuck with this translation project I'm working on and was looking for some inspiration this evening in, of all places, my Dover Thrift Edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets, when I discovered the original photograph above (of Robert Creeley and Bobbie Louise Hawkins) marking sonnet 86. My best guess is, I picked the book up in Boulder at a second-hand bookshop where it had found its way from the collection of Bobbie Louise. In the spirit of serendipity, I would like to share with you the sonnet 86:

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of all-too-precious-you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He nor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
As victors, of my silence cannot boast;
I was not sick of any fear from thence.

But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.

1 comment:

akp said...

such an incredible find!