April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday

2009 is the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s nasty little poems (all with twisted barbs) known as his Sonnets, and many organizations are celebrating the anniversary today, on this day celebrated as Shakespeare’s (unknown) birthday:  St. George’s Day.

Google UK has celebrated this convergence of celebrations with one of its clever doodles; this one reprising the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet:


(You can see this in color here)

To celebrate the day, here is one of the less nasty poems, although it still has its bitter thorn:

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away art resent still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with thee;
     Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
     Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.

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