Grand Slam



The Sixth Annual Shakespeare Sonnet Slam needs you! In one month on Friday, April 22nd at 1pm, sonneteers will descend on the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park and perform all 154 Shakespeare Sonnets.

You can become one of those sonnet slingers by signing up at . While you’re at it, you might want to donate money so that producer—Shakespeare scholar, director, teacher—Melinda Hall can continue doing the fine job she does every year with this. I had the pleasure of interviewing her last year and really enjoyed learning more about Shakespeare from her.

I participated in the Fourth Annual Slam and the Fifth Annual Slam where I read sonnets #33 and #133, respectively. This year I’ve been assigned Sonnet #62.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve grown to like the idea that you cannot choose your own sonnet to do; it forces you to stretch and grapple with whatever the material happens to be, because you have to make some kind of sense of it if you’re to come across on the day of the Slam. When I first read #62, I breathed a sigh of relief because at first glance this sonnet seemed much easier to parse than my two previous ones:

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

But as I take a closer look, I see there are issues I’ll have to resolve. I hope to post an update in a week or two on my progress.