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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: November ::
Sonnet 146
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1030  Tuesday, 21 November 2006

From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Monday, 20 Nov 2006 13:48:07 -0000
Subject: 	Sonnet 146

I have a question for SHAKSPERians.  The Oxford editors start Sonnet 146 
thus ...

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
[              ] these rebel powers that thee array;
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?

That hole in line 2 is there because we don't know what WS wrote.  The 
1609 Quarto edition had 'My sinfull earth', which all modern editors agree 
was a printer's mistake.  In the Arden 3 Sonnets, Katherine Duncan-Jones 
chooses the following ...

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Feeding these rebel powers that thee array,

Her notes to Sonnet 146 list the choices of previous editors.  Benson 
(1640) chose to repeat the Quarto error.  Malone (1780) had 'Fool'd by'. 
Ingram and Redpath (1964) had 'Foil'd by'.  Previous Arden editions had '[ 
. . . ]'.

My question to SHAKSPERians is:  What do you think WS originally wrote, 
and why?

Peter Bridgman

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