Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stop Making It Look Easy!

http://davidsonnews.net/2009/03/18/sonnets-book-battles-football-and-shakespeare/

Congratulations to 7th grader Ruth Swallow who won first prize in the literature portion of the North Carolina Reflections contest for … let me see if I get this right …  composing a “coronet” of seven sonnets, each linked by first/last lines.  So the last line of the first sonnet becomes the first line of the next.

I have to say, I’ve written sonnets and I found it difficult.  To write a bunch of them, on a theme, with that particular requirement?  In seventh grade, which would make her, oh, about 13 years old is all that much more impressive.  Good job, Ruth!

[Of course, as a Shakespearean I have to note that the first/last line thing confuses me – we all know that there’s a different number of syllables in the last line!]

[UPDATE : Thanks to Bill for gently pointing out to me that it is the rhyme scheme, not the syllable count, that changes in the final couplet.  Don’t ask me where my brain was, I don’t exactly know. ]

 

Wait!  There’s more! Later in the article where it talks about a local school’s production of The Comedy Of Errors.  Though I’m not quite sure the point of this paragraph:

“This is not your grandmother’s Shakespeare,” claims Ms. Gerdy. “It’s full of physical comedy and characters that bear striking resemblances to famous old “clowns” like Charlie Chaplin, the Marx brothers and the Keystone Cops.”

First off, it was probably one of Shakespeare’s earlier efforts and thus the very definition of “grandmother’s” Shakespeare as compared to a later, younger generation.  And second, Ms. Gerdy then goes on to compare it to Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops, shows that only my grandmother would recognize :).

3 comments:

Bill said...

[Of course, as a Shakespearean I have to note that the first/last line thing confuses me – we all know that there’s a different number of syllables in the last line!]

We do?

Each line in a Shakespeare sonnet has ten syllables.

It's the rhyme scheme that gets switched up at the end.

Duane said...

:-O

Bugger.

Shoot.

Frick on a stick.

You're absolutely right, don't ask me where my brain was. :-/

ren girl said...

Also, um, "grandmother's" Shakespeare--if by that he means the old style Shakespeare, possibly what was performed when Shakespeare was alive--was FULL of physical comedians. So there. :D

Man, sonnets are HARD--I had to do a linkup of three once, & that nearly killed me. Some people just have the talent, though--they think in rhythm & rhyme.