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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Sonnet 89
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1613  Tuesday, 31 August 2004

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Monday, 30 Aug 2004 20:23:32 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1608 Sonnet 89

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Aug 2004 09:23:50 +0100
        Subj:   Armour


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Monday, 30 Aug 2004 20:23:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1608 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1608 Sonnet 89

Sally Drumm writes, in part: "As we all know, there are many reasons for
a writer to share work among friends--beyond the possibility of
autobiography.  I would suggest that for some writers, the more personal
or autobiographical the writing is, the less likely it will appear
anywhere except in print.  It seems to me that Shakespeare was not much
on sharing his personal life with the general public, and his
autobiographical leavings are minimal.  As such is it likely that he
would take the sort of deeply personal incident some theorize are
contained in the sonnets, and turn those into autobiography."

OK: you wrote a thoughtful and fuller response, but I want to respond to
the above.  I do believe you meant *unlikely* in your last sentence?

OK: in any event, you are on a slippery slope here.  Meres' comment and
list and date of when it was published implies the *sonnets* were early
production.  And that fits lyricism.  As a lyric poet myself and
interested in the American bard Emily Dickinson I can assure you that
*I-form* lyric poetry is generally autobiographical.  Test the waters,
and you will find that to be the case.  Plath?  Sexton?  However, not
all lyric poets move from lyricism in their early years, such as
Wordsworth, or Dickinson, or Plath and Sexton, even Frost, and then
become great dramatists of circa three dozen plays.  That is an
incomparable feat.  Will S. was an autobiographical lyric poet, and then
great dramatist.  Do *not* forget that Will S. identified himself as
"Will" in several poems and punned on the word in so many others as to
leave little doubt about my inference as being true and certain.
Perhaps, in hindsight, he might have burned his lyric production as
Emily Dickinson allegedly asked her sister to do with hers.  If you
think of Rimbaud and how he barely survived his lyricism, then you might
think of Shakespeare's lyric production as separate from his drama
production.  I do.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Aug 2004 09:23:50 +0100
Subject:        Armour

 >I was told by a learned 18th century
 >specialist (with reference to a project on *Antony and
 >Cleopatra*) that "armor" was the slang term for our "condom."
 >However, that usage is not listed in either the OED or
 >Frankie Rubinsteins's book.
 >
 >Alan Dessen

 From memory, Boswell talks of 'engaging in armour' in his letters; but
I had always thought that the idiom, and perhaps the object, were of
eighteenth-century origin.

David Lindley

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