Sonnets for Advent 11: Sonnet 30

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A sonnet which, like Sonnet 29 (posted yesterday), conveys the difference that thinking on the beloved can make to the poet.

It’s read by my dear friend, Garrick Huscared, who is making a new bust of Shakespeare. What readers of bloggingshakespeare may not be aware of – and Garrick has requested me to tell you – is that Garrick is suffering from cancer and is receiving chemotherapy at the moment.

I almost didn’t ask him to record a sonnet, but he is very much known and loved in Stratford-upon-Avon and among people all over the world, thanks to his work as an actor, artist, and his project on the new Shakespeare bust. You can find out more about that extraordinary project, and the film he is making about it, by clicking here.

When I asked him if he would kindly read Sonnet 30, Garrick jumped at the chance.

Shakespeare is keeping him going right now; he is an important inspiration, as indeed Garrick is to those around him.

Sonnet 30
When to the sessions of sweet, silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.
Then can I drown an eye unused to flow
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long-since-cancelled woe,
And moan th’expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrow’s end.

Find out more about Shakespeare’s Sonnets via our free on-line course

Listen to the same sonnet being read by a student at the University of Tubingen by clicking here.

You might like to treat yourself to The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s own, exclusive edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, edited by our Honorary President, Professor Stanley Wells C.B.E., and beautifully printed by Oxford University Press. Find out more by clicking here.

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Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson
  • garrick

    what an honor to that thank you so much. shame my new teeth don’t fit too well hehe they are rattling through the sonnet

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