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Sonnets > Sonnet 123, Week 68, June 4

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message 1: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by that continual haste.
This I do vow, and this shall ever be:
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.


message 2: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
What does this mean...that the Egyptian pyramids are something that are not novel? It seems to me me, the narrator is saying we latch on to new things...instead of realizing how old they are....

"To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight."

I have taken the loss of Anthony Bourdain very hard and I feel very sad. I woke up this morning after watching "West Virginia" and "Hong Kong" episodes late last night....thinking about what might have been going through his mind. I thought about how he has pushed to be curious and seek new tastes and sights and travel....to meet more and more ordinary every day people in other countries....was he running from something? Was he not able to sit still and create a solid community at home....I heard one of his good friends last night interviewed and he said Bourdain said "I have good friends for a week".
Ouch.

He did immerse himself into the new...over and over and seemed to enter community setting...yet...he was always moving.

So whenI read the sonnet this morning....the motifs of "time" "former" "brief" "dates" "nothing" "born" "continual" "present" "past" "records" "haste" "ever" being so many references to time was overwhelming....ending with death, of course.

The contrast of the pyramids being nothing new or nothing strange....captured me.


message 3: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
And here is what I wrote on Facebook ....just expanding my thoughts a bit....although repeating some of what I said above...

I woke up this morning and I was trying to think what kind of experience or mind was Bourdain in...I wonder if he wrote any notes about his philosophy on life. I would be very interested. Then I went to my Shakespeare online group...we randomly read a sonnet every week and this week was Sonnet #123. I was really struck with all the references to time (Shakespeare always puts time in his work....but this seemed excessive even for him LOL) Why does the narrator say that the pyramids are nothing new, and nothing strange?
Sonnet 123
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by that continual haste.
This I do vow, and this shall ever be:
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.
Some time motifs....
"time, former, brief, nothing, born, continual, past, records, haste, ever"...ending with "scythe" for death. What is the relationship we have with time passing that we seek "the new"...this really made me think about Bourdain who may not have had a strong community. Wade Davis travelled like Bourdain...but Davis had a place he and his family returned to every summer...with neighbors and relationships that were developed. Much of urban life shuts us away from intimacy...the good and bad, laughter and disagreements...but those build relationships. I watched several interviews with Bourdains friends...which I thought was highly unusual so soon after his death that they were able to be on camera. I think CNN did an extraordinary job of giving us his friends grief...and constantly talking about suicide and posting the sucicide hotline on camera. Combined with the stats on Thursday about growing percentage of suicides in the USA with 2 celebrity suicides...it was a wake-up call. Bourdain did not want to label his life as with disease...he did not agree with that qualifier. I think there may have been some thing else at play. An ennui...a feeling in the USA that things have changed and there is no place for that individual confronted with such rapid change and alienation. One of Bourdains friends said Bourdain said, "I have very good friends for a week." With his work...and his ability to enter a strange community in another country quickly and intimately....what does the news look like? What does USA city life look like? What does opiate addiction look like? When you experience heightened intimacy and friendship then travel to the next place...then look at the news, politics, economic squalor and drug addiction of the USA...what does that look like? Did Bourdain battle depression and mental health? I don't know. Did he face a life change he could not tolerate? I don't know. Maybe we will find out....but this Sonnet told me something through poetry that can not easily be explained by intellect or soundbite. We need community, intimacy, and tradition that can only be found in the tim-based energy of friendship and helping neighbors. We need to help our neighbors and share with our neighbours, friends and family this brief opportunity for communion and community. The USA is on a hero's journey...and a heros journey needs separation, initiation and return. Return has not occured yet and won't until people work together and accept each other as they are. #cullturalcollpase #endofempire #usaempiredying #loneliness #ennui #alienation #separationwithnoreturnforthehero #unrequitedherosjourney

The comments are interesting too..

https://www.facebook.com/candy.minx/p...


message 4: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Candy, I've heard that Bourdain wrote a memoir that might have touched on some of his unhappiness, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. It seems he was not all that comfortable with fame and its trappings.

As for this poem, No Fear Shakespeare's take on these pyramids is that they are just more buildings that we revere, and " I’m not interested in the present or the past, because both your records and the things we see around us lie. They are raised up and destroyed by your continual swift passage. " In other words, S has decided not to think about the past, or the future, but just to see what is in front of him now, and stay true to the moment. I like the idea that he challenges the idea of Time as a linearity.


message 5: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Ah, it's a beautiful thought to think of Shakespeare practicing and experiencing what today we might call "being fully present" or "mindfulness"

:)


David Meditationseed | 1 comments In fact it is this feeling that I have when reading this sonnet: the essence of impermanence; the cognitive game of desires and attachment to them.

And to accept the brevity of time and live in the present.

The pyramids, sometimes I think they seem like tombs of our lives, or monuments of beauty to delude ourselves.


message 7: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Theme of sonnet 123 is the authority's oppression; not so romantic reading but follows word's logic. Main clue is "thy records, lie" (government records cheat) in line 11.

Some key words:

[1] Time: a period in history; an era (Elizabethan, Jacobean).
[1] I do change: the speaker changes his or her behavior (writing) under the oppression (censorship) of the authority. Ben Jonson was in prison for The Isle of Dogs; he must change.

[2] pyramid: a symbol of monarchism, heavy oppression.
[2] Thy pyramyds: the authority's means to oppress people (poets).

[3] nothing novel, nothing strange: the speaker can handle the authority's "newer might." (But how?)

[6] thou does foist: the authority cheats.
[6] old: outdated.

[11] thy records, lie: the authority's records cannot be trusted.
[12] haste: without thought or care (for people).

[14] be true: via esoteric writing in plays and sonnets.
[14] thy scythe: the censorship.

The index 123 itself is a pyramid, the reason to put this sonnet here, as a hint to check the numbering of Sonnets.
1
12
123

* * *

NO! Time, thou shalt not bost that I doe change,[1]
Thy pyramyds buylt vp with newer might
To me are nothing nouell, nothing strange,
They are but dressings of a former sight:

Our dates are breefe, and therefor we admire,[5]
What thou dost foyst vpon vs that is ould,
And rather make them borne to our desire,
Then thinke that we before haue heard them tould:

Thy registers and thee I both defie,[9]
Not wondring at the present, nor the past,
For thy records, and what we see doth lye,
Made more or les by thy continuall hast:

This I doe vow and this shall euer be,[13]
I will be true dispight thy syeth and thee.


message 8: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Jim, your reading is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for pointing out the pyramid with the number 123. I hit myself on the head and said "doh!"

Would this relate to Francis Bacon and some of his approach to government?

"It is a part of knowledge secret and retired, in both these respects in which things are deemed secret; for some things are secret because they are hard to know, and some because they are not fit to utter. We see all governments are obscure and invisible.

Totamque infusa perartus Mens agitat molen, et magno se corpore miscet. (In every pore diffused the great mind works, Stirs all the mass, and thro' the huge frame lives.)

Such is the description of governments. We see the government of God over the world is hidden, insomuch as it seemeth to participate of much irregularity and confusion. The government of the Soul in moving the Body is inward and profound, and the passages thereof hardly to be reduced to demonstration. Again, the wisdom of antiquity (the shadows whereof are in the poets) in the description of torments and pains, next unto the crime of rebellion which was the Giants' offence, doth detest the offence of futility, as in Sisphyus and Tantalus. But this was meant of particulars:

Nevertheless even unto the general rules and discourses of policy and government there is due a reverent and reserved handling."

and

"Also the sheep-hook is a noble metaphor, alluding to the mixture of straight and crooked in the ways of natures. But the staff is curved chiefly towards the top; because all the works of Divine Providence in the world are wrought by winding and roundabout ways-where one thing seems to be doing, and another is doing really-as in the selling of Joseph into Egypt, and the like. So also in all the wiser kings of human government, they who sit at the helm can introduce and insinuate what they desire for the good of the people more successfully by pretexts and indirect ways than directly; so that every rod or staff of empire is truly crooked at the top."


message 9: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Candy wrote: "Would this relate to Francis Bacon and some of his approach to government? ...

Rumors about Francis Bacon appear several times in Shakespeare's works, but I think this sonnet is unrelated to him. Shakespeare always seals names and their stories via anagrams, consistently.

Actually, The Tempest's Caliban is one of the Francis Bacons, like Bote-swaine of Ben Jonsons.


message 10: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Candy wrote: "... pointing out the pyramid with the number 123 ..."

Numbering of Sonnets is well-arranged. A quick list:

1: The beginning (sonnet 1, "creatures").
3: Trinity (sonnet 105, three targets in one).
7: The Sabbath (sonnet 7).
10: Ten Commandments (sonnet 122).
11: Eleven Apostles (without Judas Iscariot, sonnet 11).
12: Twelve hours (sonnet 12).
17: The beginning (1) and the end (7) to make 17 (sonnet 17).
24: Twenty four hours (sonnet 24).
30: Betray (sonnet 30, Judas Iscariot's "thirty pieces of silver").
40: Calamity and Test (sonnet 40, 40 days or 40 years).
99: Sinner (sonnet 99).
100: Completion (sonnet 100).
106: Alpha and Omega (sonnet 106, Bible).
123: Pyramid (sonnet 123, a hint).
150: Catastrophe (sonnet 150, the great flood).
153: Miracle (sonnet 153, 154).
666: Devil (sonnet 66 line 6, well riddled).


message 11: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) JimF wrote: "Candy wrote: "... pointing out the pyramid with the number 123 ..."

Numbering of Sonnets is well-arranged. A quick list:

1: The beginning (sonnet 1, "creatures").
3: Trinity (sonnet 105, three ta..."


That numbering is very interesting. So, as to Sonnet 123, with the pyramids representing oppressive power... what is S saying in this poem?


message 12: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Janice (JG) wrote: ... what is S saying in this poem?"

Sonnet 123 talks about the authority's censorship like pyramids above poets. The speaker says he can handle that but doesn't tell how. Answer is also in pyramids.

Poets can survive under the protection offered by pyramids. Pyramids can spell Mary Sidney except letter n and e; it can spell anagrams except n and g; "newer might" in line 2 provides the needed letters. However, more are needed to affirm that Mary Sidney is related to pyramids via anagrams.

Pyramid contains the backward Mary. This can be seen from the text pyramid by Joshua Sylvester(1563–1618):
i.imgur.com/sXMbQBI.jpg; Mary Sidney (SYDNEY) is in the middle.

William Herbert's emblem in Henry Peacham's Minerva Britanna does the same (i.imgur.com/EiEDbST.jpg). This emblem alludes to his mother Mary Sidney Herbert, which explains why his emblem is a goddess with a pyramid and crowne. (The word crown appears 7 times in the First Folio; crowne 247 times.) This graphic anagram is similar to Et in Arcadia Ego in Cymbeline.

The Herberts of Wilton House will protect their poets and punish betrayers, e.g. Robert Greene, Thomas Kyd, and Christopher Marlowe (who dies suddenly).


message 13: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
What are the Herberts protecting? The artistic freedom of poets? Catholicism hidden in poetry? That poetry is different than regular ordinary speech.....poetry contains covert messages and we must let it be free.

Or in my opinion poetry contains all of those things but also valuable practical knowledge is contained in poetry and must not be censored it's ambiguity and magic power of transmitting emotions and information must be allowed to survive.

Did Marlowe begin to write for the state? Is that why he died?


message 14: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Thank you for linking the images of the woman, and pyramid in a lithograph...as well as the printed emblem of text in the shape of a pyramid.

I am deeply moved to tears by both of these images. I am actually gobsmacked and blown away...humbled by how deep the magic and meaning is within these images and connections to Shakespeare.


message 15: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Candy wrote: "What are the Herberts protecting?"

A few things: syphilis, bawdy jokes, mocking Roman Catholic, etc. The most dramatic one is the fake death of Christopher Marlowe.

Let's assume Marlowe was saved by the Herberts in 1593, and see if that can reason some tedious or odd lines.

Prospero-Miranda can spell Mary Sidney, then Ariel (the altar) should be Marlowe, for both are saved and can only be seen by their masters.

Ariel is a perfect anagram of "real I." For Ariel to spell Marlowe, we need letter m, o, w. A good riddler will link Ariel with mow in one word, and add Christopher to complete his name.
ARIEL.
Before you can say come, and go, [1]
And breathe twice; and cry, so, so:
Each one tripping on his Toe,
Will be here with mop, and mow.
Do you love me Master? no?

[1] Before you (a reader, a master) can command a servant, you will first call the servant's name; this is a name riddle.

[2] "breathe twice; and cry, so, so" are a reader's reactions after breaking this name riddle.

[3] Each reader is tripping (stumbling) on this servant's toe. To trip is to cause to stumble or fall. Toe is "the lowest, basest, poorest of . . ." (Coriolanus). Toe can mean anything that looks like a toe.
AGRIPPA.
You, the great Toe of this Assembly?

2ND CITIZEN.
I the great Toe? Why the great Toe?

AGRIPPA.
For that being one of the lowest, basest, poorest
Of this most wise Rebellion, thou go'st foremost:

Line 3 can spell Christopher, to join Marlowe in line 4. Marlowe equals to mar-lowe; lowe is an obsolete form of low.

[4] Here is the needed mow by Ariel; Ariel-mow can spell Marlowe, the "real I."

[5] This line can spell Mary Sidney as Marlowe's "Master." Naming anagrams are arranged in last three lines.

Somehow this is not enough. Marlowe knew that, for he put himself in many places of Shakespeare's works. The best one is Christopher Sly in The Taming of the Shrew.

Christopher Sly has a boy-wife called Bartholomew. Why a boy-wife? so that the wife can link to a male name, and man "shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). Christopher Sly and Bartholomew are one flesh.

Bartholomew is a perfect anagram of both-Marlowe (a precious anagram for Marlowe). Christopher Sly and Christopher Marlowe are both Marlowe.
CHRISTOPHER SLY.
What would you make me mad?
Am not I Christopher Sly,
old Sly's son of Burton-heath,
by birth a Peddler, by education a Cardmaker,
by transmutation a Bear-herd,
and now by present profession a Tinker.

Burton-heath, Peddler, Cardmaker, Bear-herd, Tinker, look like certain codes. They can be solved by anagrams, which are easy for poets to make.


message 16: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
I suppose many of these riddles are hidden because Shakespeare belonged to a group or society that wanted to keep its beliefs secret....such as the theory he was actually a practicing Catholic?


message 17: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Candy wrote: "I suppose many of these riddles are hidden because Shakespeare belonged to a group or society that wanted to keep its beliefs secret....such as the theory he was actually a practicing Catholic?"

That is the premise of the recent TV series ("Will"), and I think it makes a lot of sense. It explains why so much is cloaked and hidden in double meanings in both the poems and the plays.


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