The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1653  Thursday, 29 September 2005

From: 		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 28 Sep 2005 03:02:55 -0700
Subject: 	Dark Lady et al

Re the identities of the sonnets' Dark lady and Young Man, I have a 
little experience in such identity research, although it was pretty far 
a field.

Back in the late 20th century, a poet -- a Dark Lady herself -- with 
whom I was then more than friends, published a first volume of poems 
which I admired very much.  One was a sort of coming-of-age poem that 
included references to her own home state and her family's business back 
there, thirty-five years before. When I asked her something about the 
boy in the poem, she said, "Oh, it's all fiction." Well, wasn't I 
surprised. Stupidly, I suppose, it had simply not occurred to me that it 
might be just that, and not only because of the real-world allusions; 
her poem had made me believe it was her own experience. Well, the poem 
contained nothing embarrassing, so I had no reason to disbelieve her 

Here's the wrinkle: later (honest) she told me she lied a lot, which 
others corroborated.

So, did the Young Man in her poem ever exist? I have no idea, but 
imagine trying to find out in 2405 who he was.

Best wishes,
Bob Projansky

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