My Anthem

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Love's Labour Lost, but Labour's Love's Desideratum

Beautiful Dreamer - Lyrics & Chords

Stephen Foster
Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee.
Sounds of the ruse world heard in the day,
Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away
Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
Am D7 G7 
List while I woo thee with soft melody.
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
G7 E7 Am 
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me.
Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea
Mermaids are chanting the wild Lorelei,
Over the streamlet vapors are borne
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.
Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart
E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea,
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart.
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me

DESI: I have aweways enjoyed the Stephen Foster's numbers from young, helping me polish up my English; the classic above is one of my faves; it could have also contributed to my First Love imagery and strayings into mindescapes when puberty arrive several bytes early. A companion piece/peace is The Bee Gees' FIRST OF MAY which remains my Anthem of this month as it inspires a young poet-aSspirant's writing and soul-search and dreamescapades that lead to a high as good as marijuana-induced. I'm not a user, I am taking other veteran consumers of dadah, which when you take way the "h" gives some of us another Hi!:)

So to awe mGf, on the dawn of May, even as we sleep, we roam and rant to seek out our Love, never Labour's Lost as long as we believe. I believe.


FROM cometh a sharing for which I tahnk the author, Kerry Michaelwood,  for making this day special as I have always been a Shakespeare's fan; yes, he maketh me a man for some wiseman says: Reading Maketh a Man, yes!

Irony in the poem "Winter" and Spring from Love's Labour's Lost

A look at the paired songs "Winter" and "Spring" from William Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labour's Lost.

Irony in "Winter" and "Spring"; paired poems from Love's Labour's Lost

Just before the concluding lines of his comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare includes a pair of songs, “Winter” and “Spring,” that are nearly identical in form, length, and meter yet as opposite in imagery as the seasons denoted in their titles. Each two-stanza lyric has the refrain of a bird’s song and the mood engendered in the humans who listen to the serenade. Ironically, those contrasting moods are unexpected and in opposition to the sorts of images that lead up to them.

Here is the first verse of “Winter.”

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
“Tu-whit, to-who!”
A merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

The Dick, Tom and Joan of the above are of the servant class as their nicknames indicate. None of the images are suggestive of things cozy and comfortable. Icicles are attractive in the artwork of Currier and Ives but not when you’re out among them in 16th-century England as are Dick and Tom.

Dick blows on his numb fingers to warm them. The cows’ milk freezes in the pail between barn and house because of the chill temperature. The “nipp’d” blood does not refer to the shedding or drinking of the life source but to the painful feelings occasioned by bumps and other contact of our flesh in extremely cold weather. Roads are muddied, Joan is greasy from her labors at the cook stove while she skims the surfaced fat from the pot.

Surprisingly, the song of the night owl that we often associate with mournfulness is “a merry note.”

Note the similarities of stanza two. (I’ll omit the three-line refrain in the interest of space saving.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl .
. .

Wintry blasts compound the chill factor. Churchgoers are afflicted with coughs that drown out the parson’s homily, but no one misses much since the sermon, referred to as a “saw”
or a speech of hackneyed repetition, is something all have heard before. Reference to the redness and rawness of Marian’s nose is a most unpoetic piece of description. Other birds sit “brooding in the snow;” the first word importing the double denotation of sorrowful mood and birds sitting on eggs.

But don’t despair. Tom has hauled in wood for a fire, greasy Joan has prepared warm cider or ale, and the crab apples are cooked. It’s time for warmth and merriment to the song of the owl and perhaps to the singing of the servants who are drinking and relaxing after their labors.

In “Spring” we are presented with a mirror image. Warmth and color images replace those of bleak winter, and the refrain involves a daytime birdsong ordinarily associated with lightheartedness. The same time-related conjunction “When” introduces each stanza.

When daisies pied and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadow with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo, cuckoo!” Oh word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!”

The grassy meadows are described in a line that combines metaphor and metonymy. They are not actually painted but merely adorned with multi-colored blossoms which produce delight in the eye of observers.

Two types of blossom recommend themselves to the poet because they relate to images still to come in stanza two. Lady-smocks and cuckoo-buds are wildflowers that are respectively white and yellow and produce a riot of color along with the pied, or varicolored, daisies and blue violets.

Why is the song of the cuckoo bird a word of fear? Because the bird lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, giving rise to the word “cuckoldry” and all its related verbs and adjectives.
Thus married men must be wary of their wives in the season of romance and birth.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws
And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on ever tree . . . .

Just as in the first poem the eerie night song of the owl becomes ironically a merry note, the ordinarily pleasant song of the cuckoo bird is to married men a warning. Look to your wives. The larks awaken plowmen that it is time to go to work. The turtles (actually turtle doves), rooks and daws are copulating and producing the young over which they brood during the winter. Maidens are spreading their summer garb on bushes so that the bright sun can restore their freshness and color, and so that they will appear attractive to young, unmarried swains. It’s the season of love.

Much more could be said about how the sexuality of these poems contributes to the theme and meaning of the play in which they appear, but that’s stuff for another article.

DESI: Finally, meet Desi at Butterfry Varrey tonight -- you know the time and dime and rime of our Meeting Venue -- if knot, thou art no GOoDfriend of mine! Also you pay for the beers, OK! as Desi is a teatotaller:) -- so that we can merrily sing in unison my BG fave, via LINK:

When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
we used to love while others used to play.
Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by,
some one else moved in from far away.

Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small,
and you don't ask the time of day.
But you and I, our love will never die,
but guess we'll cry come first of May.

The apple tree that grew for you and me,
I watched the apples falling one by one.
And I recall the moment of them all,
the day I kissed your cheek and you were mine.


When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
do do do do do do do do do...
Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by,
some one else moved in from far away.


Wishing all my Socialist Esteemed Readers

ap Ap AP Labour Day

No work today OK!

ENJOY a capitalist BF-cum-lunch-dinner on Desi's b1/2

But r'ber to DHL me wan *runch

To mark a fantastic 428 bunch

YL, Desi

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