Last April, I participated in the 4th Annual Shakespeare Sonnet Slam in Central Park. It’s a lot of fun—participants perform all 154 sonnets in order, one per person, all in one afternoon. It’s open to anyone who wants to do it. Email them about a month before Shakespeare’s birthday, April 26th, 2015, and they will assign you a sonnet to perform for this year’s event on April 24th.
I was assigned Sonnet 33 last year. I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with it beforehand. You can read it below. (BTW, it’s easier to deconstruct the meaning of a sonnet by breaking it up into three quatrains and a final couplet.)
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack, he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.
Just for fun back then, since I was playing around with learning how to edit sound digitally, using computer software, I made this recording of the sonnet.
Pro audio editing tip: You can make anything, even reading the phone book, sound a hundred times better if you layer it over a bed of Pachibel’s Canon in D. 🙂
(Click on the triangle to play)