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Bewildering Stories

Prakash Kona writes about...

Ronsard and Shakespeare

Michael Lloyd’s translation of Ronsard’s sonnet with a touch of Shakespeare is exquisitely done.

But Ronsard has none of that irony or impetuosity that we see in the sonnets of Shakespeare. My gut feeling is that Shakespeare read Jalaluddin Rumi — or at least he knew the discourse of the kind of love that is constantly threatened by death but refuses to give up — the spirit that prevails, as Faulkner puts it.

Prakash Kona

Hello, Prakash...

Very interesting observations!

I would be surprised if Shakespeare had ever heard of Jalaluddin Rumi, but we would need a Shakespearean scholar to tell us. My guess is that your surmise is correct: Shakespeare, Rumi and Faulkner share something of a kindred feeling. And, I would add, one that can also be found in the poems of yours that we’ve had the privilege to publish.

I’m not sure what you mean by “impetuosity”; could you explain? I imagine that young ladies such as Hélène might have found Ronsard’s advances somewhat... impetuous. We shall see. Ronsard has, at times, a biting irony of his own that is probably unlike Shakespeare’s.

In “Quand on voit sur la branche,” as in many other poems, Ronsard intertwines three themes inherited from Latin literature by way of the Italian Renaissance: memento mori, sic transit gloria mundi and tempus fugit.

Thank you for the insights!

And we have three translations of another poem in this issue, too!


Copyright © 2005 by Prakash Kona

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