CHAT: Auden and Shakespeare (was: Re: Telona's grandish entrance)
|From:||Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, April 14, 2002, 10:00|
And Rosta wrote:
>>>Shakespeare, Sonnet 73. I agree about it being echoed. I think
you're thinking of Tintern Abbey, but I seem to own no copy of it
so cannot check.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
(or "bare rn'wd quiers" in the original)
My own knowledge of poetry is sadly deficient; the Auden
text just appealed to me. In case it helps throw some light on
the connection, these are two of the verses from around the quotation:
O ear whose creatures cannot wish to fall,
O calm of spaces unafraid of weight,
Where Sorrow is herself, forgetting all
The gaucheness of her adolescent state,
Where Hope within the altogether strange
From every outworn image is released,
And Dread born whole and normal like a beast
Into a world of truths that never change:
Restore our fallen day; O re-arrange.
O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages,
So small beside their large confusing words,
So gay against the greater silences
Of dreadful things you did: O hang the head,
Impetuous child with the tremendous brain,
O weep, child, weep, O weep away the stain,
Lost innocence who wished your lover dead,
Weep for the lives your wishes never led.
Britten's setting is wonderful though - do try and hear it if you can!
'O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages...'
Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'