Poetry Friday: Shakespeare to Seoul

h1 October 17th, 2008 by eisha

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as performed by Yohangza Theatre Company from Korea. This has nothing to do with what my husband is doing in Seoul, but it looks cool. Click to learn more.My husband happens to be in Seoul, South Korea at the moment. I took him to the airport Wednesday morning, and he’ll get back on Monday afternoon. It’s not that long to be apart, especially for us – he’s a theatrical set designer, and frequently travels for weeks at a time for his design gigs. But it is definitely the farthest apart geographically that we have ever been – even before we knew each other. So I’m feeling a little sentimental, and wanted to choose something with him in mind. Here’s Sonnet XCVII from the patron saint of all thespians, William Shakespeare:

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.

* * * * *

My ol’ pal Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews (who has the most beautiful header in all of book-blogdom) is handling the Poetry Friday round-up this week. Do pay her a visit, won’t you?

12 comments to “Poetry Friday: Shakespeare to Seoul”

  1. Ooh thanks for reminding me of this gorgeous sonnet!

    And *hugs* for missing your hubby.

    (PS Hope the shock of me posting a comment doesn’t do for you!)

  2. Shakespeare says it best. Here’s some virtual chocolate and a hug to tide you over till your DH returns!

  3. That’s simply sublime.

  4. Heavenly selection for the occasion, Eisha!

    I can’t quote much old poetry, but for similar situations I’ve always remembered Donne’s “Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” especially the bit about the legs of the drafting compass: joined at the top, no matter how far the feet spread.

    (Love the picture selection, too, and the story it links to!)

  5. I do love the Bard’s sonnets. And how awesome to be doing your honey’s job in Seoul! But I feel ya on the absence thing; I’ve only been separated that far once in fifteen years of knowing D. — yet it’s something other people take in stride.

    I love the photograph.

  6. So what’s he bringing back for you? 🙂

    Thanks for the dose of Shakespeare. Always, always good.

  7. That photo is really great! I like how the Bard covers all the seasons in this one, as things go in any relationship. Hope your weekend goes quickly and more or less pleasantly, lonely as you must be. It’ll be a happy Monday for you!

  8. Michele! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? We’ve missed you terribly!

    jama, I think chocolate is a very good solution. Thanks!

    jules, sublime it is.

    JES, here I’d sworn off Donne as an undergrad, but you converted him back into my graces. And I feel the need to clarify in case others haven’t seen the photo tag: The pic is from a Korean traveling troupe’s version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. My husband has nothing to do with that troupe or that production, but it’s what came up when I did a Google image search on “Korea Shakespeare.” I WISH I could have seen that show – doesn’t it look awesome?

    TadMack, thanks for the solidarity.

    Sara… DANG, that’s a good question. I’ll keep you posted.

    cloudscome, I liked that about it too. Thanks!

  9. Yes, JES, one must always read Eisha’s photo alt tags. They usually contain little hidden goodies.

  10. Aw, now, that’s just sweet. In the good way.

  11. MiA/AWOL… I know, I’m a terrible person for not keeping in touch. If you all hated me, I would completely understand…

    I haven’t actually *been* anywhere – still here in the usual place, working and writing (doing the latter like it’s going out of fashion!)

  12. Well, no apologies needed. Just glad you’re back!

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