Wooo, this is a bit close to home and is likely to upset people - so people if you are reading this and then get upset about it sorry.
With an opening tag or hook like that I guess right now you are thinking exciting! Well stop that as I’m sure the caffeine and fizzy drinks in my blood will rapidly wear off and the result will by the end be a big pile of letters all jumbled up and meaningless. Arrrh yes speaking of random jumbles of meaningless letters - Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Wooo did you see what I did there I either 1) likened my writing to that of Shakespeare or 2) called Shakespeare’s sonnets a random bunch of letters.
Now I come from a good northern town with a good northern upbringing which meant we didn’t read much Shakespeare. We did lots on Kes and Of Mice and Men but very little Shakespeare. So you may ask why the f#’king hell have I decided to write about the immortal bard now? Honestly I was just in that sort of poking a stick at a tiger mood would be the truthful answer so I will make up one. I’ve been listening to a podcast series located here <- there on the internet and this has brought forth some home truths I will share.
In list form of course!
I had heard of but never read any sonnets until I randomly per chance came across the podcast series by In Ear Entertainment (see link previous)
Yes that probably does mean I have an empty soul.
This is not a very good list - but I guess writing and English is just a medium of communication and at school it was something to do with exams and very little else.
But didn’t you love to write when you were at school? Inner monologue brings that up in a list - nice work there.
Yes in answer to 4 yes I loved to write things. I am terrible at it and make lots of mistakes and stuff but I do like to tell stories.
What was this list about again?
And we are back into normal space. No don’t ask that list didn’t really work now did it? Ok so lets try again. Shakespeare didn’t really feature much in my education. I never really had the time or inclination to read any of his works except “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” and yes I know that is a Tom Stoppard play and it was the film by the same name that made me go and read Hamlet. Why? Well because I like the characters and wanted to read more about them. But that was boring and my brain has pushed out the Hamletness from my head. But of course Shakespeare appears in lots of popular science fiction like Star Trek the Next Generation and things like that. Like the time when Picard was quoting erm Hamlet again at Q? No trend that Hamlet has appeared twice.
Doctor Who - of course the good Doctor he went and we had a whole Shakespeare (can I just say I really want an abbreviation for Shakespeare it is such an annoying word to type) but even that was not motivation enough to make me go and read the literally wonderfulness that he is.
Interestingly I know I’ve been moved to tears reading works of science. Even a paper on energy production using solar power. But I don’t remember that ever happening for a work of erm English literature.
So the podcast I mentioned a lot of wiggley letters ago and well that is an interesting thing. I loved their previous work that of Supermarket Matters and from that I randomly decided to start on their Shakespeare’s sonnets. Now this was an odd ride for me. I had my must catch-up drive running which meant that I had to consume all the existing podcasts and get up to date as soon as humanly possible. I did that and in doing so I can hopefully blame the lack of retention of any of the pros. You see by rapidly digesting things I have chosen to not retain them? Good excuse, perhaps? Perhaps or perhaps it was because I kept falling asleep. Now, now, not because they are dull and boring no the opposite. It is actually a great reflection on randomness and the universe because they start out with all the good will in the world with a sonnet. Mark Chatterley reads the sonnet then they try and discuss it but end up talking about anything and everything but the sonnet then Thierry Heles ends with another read through. Of late that then breaks down into him getting annoyed at himself and by doing so being unable to actually recite the sonnet without error.
We can therefore conclude that it is not the Shakespeareness that is why I continue to listen. It is perhaps the humanity I hear in the conversation. I do try and read each sonnet sometimes aloud and often when doing so making lots of mistakes. There are a few a very few of the sonnets I actually like. Now I know 18 “Shall I compare” is the famous one - but I never liked that before or now. I find the sonnets odd to read. I must admit I find it boring to deconstruct some of them. I am of little interest whether he was gay, was talking to himself, a women, a girl, a boy or a cat. But do you know what I think the sonnets are? I think they are his blog - not his journal - come now what now did I just say? His blog his random rantings where sometimes there is a theme because he wrote a few after watching Top Gear or whilst reading a book on things. Is that wrong. Probably but I don’t care.
Occasionally there are sonnets which seem spokely scientific such as number 49:
> > > 1. Against that time, if ever that time come, > > 2. When I shall see thee frown on my defects, > > 3. When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum, > > 4. Called to that audit by advis’d respects; > > 5. Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass, > > 6. And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye, > > 7. When love, converted from the thing it was, > > 8. Shall reasons find of settled gravity; > > 9. Against that time do I ensconce me here, > > 10. Within the knowledge of mine own desert, > > 11. And this my hand, against my self uprear, > > 12. To guard the lawful reasons on thy part: > > 13. To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws, > > 14. Since why to love I can allege no cause. >
Of course by scientific I mean it has the words time, gravity and laws in it. Actually when I first misheard this sonnet I thought it was a breakdown of time space theory with gravity and the failure of Newtonian mechanics and laws at the quantum level. But then when I replayed the podcast and read the sonnet again and realised it wasn’t that at all. Instead it was basically a bloke saying:
> > > 1. If stuff happens in the future > > 2. When you look at me and see I am old (which is a natural function of aging and clearly we are talking about the future already here so come on now give me a break) > > 3. When all your love is used up (that come be read as a bit of a when you have run out of love juice thing but I won't mention it and take the moral high ground) > > 4. Due to the current financial situation a lot of banks are being audited > > 5. When we have split up and you pretend not to know me in Yates' but then later we both have a couple and well it all gets a bit messy > > 6. Then the next morning you pretend you don't know me, sneak out won't return my calls > > 7. When all the crap you do just pisses me off rather and I can no longer just grin about it > > 8. Its like totally heavy man > > 9. Stuff > > 10. I'm so lonely > > 11. Its my own fault and I know it that is why I sit in your back garden watching your house > > 12. You took out a restraining order > > 13. So now the old bill comes and totally giving me a hard time and warned me about sitting in your back garden. > > 14. All I did was love you and you totally got the police and shit involved harsh man harsh. >
I would probably never have found the time to listen or read a single sonnet if it had not been for In Ear and their other podcasts. I doubt it has made my life deeper but now I do want to see it through to the end just to find out if per chance that I do find a sonnet I like. Whilst that being said I also know there are 154 of these things to listen to and well I think on some days Shakespeare is just writing a shopping list of things to do. Thus I conclude my great insight into a man and his writings. Now if only the Dr Who episode had been true how cool would that have been. Pass me the Hydrogen formation through photochemical process review and a box of tissues (not like that really its not porn - well nearly not).