Forever

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 107 and Timelessness

Coverage

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Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Suppos’d as forfeit to a confin’d doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur’d,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur’d,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of him, I’ll live in this poor rime,
While he insults o’er dull and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
When tyrants’ crests and tombs of brass are spent.


The idea of timelessness, eternity, immortality must be true as we wish, look and aim for it in some way or the other. Imagining living continuously, building and creating happy ways of life, chiselling and shaping the continuous source of happiness, we forgetfully live with the idea of forever.

The decisive time gone by, the melting present and the secret future, though definite, knows the indefinite. And one is lured, naturally, to know and identify with the indefinite. Why? For the indefinite is the absolute. So? The absolute appears to be complete, eternal, beyond the cyclic drama and free. Then? We may be a part of it or we too may want to be complete. And so? I don’t know, I am living forgetfully with the idea of forever, remember.

Shakespeare, the greatest and most famous playwright ever, via his works, attained immortality and this is what he celebrated in Sonnet 107. Full of creative splendour, he announced his lead on rusty cenotaphs and statues of the rulers.


The Battle at Gavelines and Elizabeth I at Tilbury (Pastiche).
The painting presents a stylized account of the battle of Gravelines between the Spanish Armada and the English fleet, including the beacons, Elizabeth’s address at Tilbury, and the battle itself in a single montage on three jointed pieces of fine tabby-weave linen. 
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

“The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured”

That the grand, rock-hard, grave and lovely moon too continues its finite journey, eroding gradually, black red white, suggests that the moon knows well the infinite’s will. Or else why will it so humbly accept its role? This long journey, then, is no less than a quiet meditation. The deep circular craters are the timekeepers and the moon knows it.

One of William Shakespeare’s renowned 154 Sonnets, Sonnet 107 is often linked with the contemporary events of the time: the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588), Queen Elizabeth’s death (in 1603), the Long Turkish War (1593-1606); the Armada charged in a crescent formation, Queen Elizabeth was also called Cynthia (name of the Greek moon goddess), the Ottoman Empire’s flag boasted the crescent moon symbol.

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Elizabeth I of England.
The portrait was made to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada (depicted in the background).
[Source – Wikipedia]

In times so precarious, one would want to hold on to a secure thought or remember the limits of mortality, mocking unabashedly the warmongers and peace-lovers alike, or even hope to create something timeless.


Read the wonderfully crisp commentary on Sonnet 107, here.

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First image from Pixabay


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Sunflower Smile

The sunflower warmth just touched you.
Image from Pixabay.

Smile that sunflower smile, I love to see your beaming face, eyes closed and the rosy glow. Oh, come on! Remember those winters how we huddled to be in direct sunlight… warmth of the burning star touched our souls, and we smiled.

Peeping through the bushes, the sunlight always made me feel like I am in a photograph – yet to be taken.

While the tiny white daisies were busy decorating and tackling the mad wind, blushing, swaying and often taunting it for impeding their progress, the sunflowers stayed glued like a crayon drawing on the wall, letting the sun seep within.

Seeing the clouds approach, the sunflowers never trembled or rebuked the sky’s spongy friends… for the sunflowers could feel the presence of that warm burning star, part of it now stored inside them.

Maybe that’s why sunflowers’ signature reads ‘Forever’ rather than their glowing name. Oh, how lovely!  

Now just smile that sunflower smile, I love to see your beaming face, eyes closed and the rosy glow.

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Smiling sunflowers and the gin-soaked hour.
Image from Pixabay.

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The Better Way

Flash Fiction
Neatly folded and settled.
[Source – Pixabay]

Kavya was searching for a book to read, only to pass that foggy evening. She was in her grandma’s house for vacation. Nothing but memories was left of her grandparents. A faint image entered her mind every time she thought of them- she is sitting beside them and her grandma is reading a book, they are on the balcony, soon she falls asleep, nevertheless feels the warmth because of their presence.

She was young now and restless. An idea came to her, she imagined herself sitting the way her grandma was sitting and reading, she felt that if she copied it she would get some of the serenity that her grandma had on her face. Strangely, Kavya could now see wholeness and contentment in her grandma’s eyes; calmness on her face; as if she is telling everyone to have faith…to believe; even the old monotone photographs of her grandma spoke the same whenever Kavya looked at them.

Finally, she picked a book and went outside on the balcony. Pulling a chair towards her she sat on it. She sighed…what for…she had no clue herself. Was it something in her life or was she simply missing her grandma? Maybe she sighed because we sometimes do, without knowing that we did.

There were two more pages to finish the first chapter, checked Kavya. She always did so. Kavya didn’t count herself in the category of the fervent readers, but among those who read because others read, because books are there to read and because they know reading is a good habit. There is nothing wrong with being in this category; it is just that you lag in one or the other way.

Trying to sit in a comfortable position Kavya got up and dragged the chair but while doing so she dropped the book. The book was old and some pages peeped out as soon as it hit the floor. ‘Oh!’ said Kavya. They say what happens, happens for the good. While placing the pages properly she found a folded piece of paper. Curiosity made her eyes big. She opened it; her grandma’s handwriting spoke to her. The words were few. It said ‘Just smile…it is the better way’ and under it were her grandma’s initials.

How quickly can things change, how strangely can people change, how fast the light passes in the darkness, right? Kavya couldn’t believe that she was suddenly full of happiness; spirited to do anything. She looked at the piece of paper once again and said, ‘Thank you grandma…thank you so much.’ She got up and left the balcony.

Indeed, Kavya didn’t finish that book but then she had something else to complete. The old book is back on the shelf but the message is with Kavya, which will stay with her forever.


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