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  • Hello, I'm Gill from www.engvid.com and today, we're going to be looking at a poem.

  • So, when I did a previous poem, "The Owl and the Pussycat", people liked it and said oh,

  • we would like more poems.

  • So, this is in response to that.

  • And also, you may have seen my lesson on Shakespeare and Shakespearian phrases used in everyday

  • language that come from Shakespeare's plays.

  • So, this links to that as well, because we're looking at a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem

  • by Shakespeare today, okay?

  • So, just to give a little bit of the history of the sonnet, which traditionally is 14 lines

  • long and it's quite a strict - there are a lot of strict rules about the rhythm of it

  • and the rhyming at the ends of the lines.

  • So, it's quite a hard thing for a poet to do.

  • They have to work within some rules, but it can produce some very interesting poems because

  • of that.

  • So, the sonnet started in Italy in the 13th Century.

  • So, the first sonnets were in Italian.

  • And eventually, they filtered through to England and sonnets in English started appearing in

  • the 16th Century, okay?

  • And one of the sonnet writers was Shakespeare, who published a book of sonnets, over 150

  • sonnets, in 1609.

  • So, he wrote - he published 154 sonnets, all in one book.

  • So, that was quite a lot.

  • So, we're going to look at one of his sonnets today, which - it's a sort of situation in

  • this poem that you might recognize.

  • It's a very human situation, and we're going to go line by line so that you don't get distracted

  • by a lot of lines below.

  • Just one line at a time, and I'll explain it as we go along.

  • Okay.

  • So, here's the first line: Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed.

  • Okay?

  • So, "weary" means tired.

  • This is somebody who has been working all day and they're physically very tired.

  • "Toil" is another word for work, working.

  • It's an older word for working.

  • So, tired with work, "I haste" - means I hurry, get to bed quickly.

  • I'm so tired, I just want to get to bed is the sort of main meaning of this line.

  • So, "I haste me" I haste myself, I hurry to my bed.

  • Okay?

  • So, that's the first line.

  • Quite a recognizable situation.

  • So, okay.

  • So, here comes the next line.

  • Okay, so this line is: The dear repose for limbs with travel tired.

  • So, this is about the bed, the bed is lovely.

  • Oh, you can just lie down and sleep.

  • "Repose" means to lie down and rest, sleep.

  • So, you know what it's like when you're really tired, you just want to get to bed.

  • And when you lie down - oh, wonderful!

  • It's great.

  • So, "the dear repose", he's just lying down in bed, resting.

  • "For limbs", limbs are your arms and legs.

  • So, he's been physically working.

  • He's tired with working and with travelling.

  • So, "limbs with travel tired".

  • His arms and legs are tired from travelling.

  • He's probably been walking and maybe carrying heavy things as well.

  • So, he's just physically exhausted and wants to go to bed, okay?

  • Right.

  • Here comes the next line.

  • Okay, then there's a "but".

  • He's lying down, he wants to sleep, "But then begins" another kind of journey, "a journey

  • in my head."

  • So, he's tired with travel.

  • He's had one kind of journey today, but then he gets to bed and another journey starts

  • off in his head.

  • So, you know what it's like sometimes.

  • You're really, really tired.

  • You go to bed, but your mind is still working.

  • You can't stop thinking about things.

  • So, this is a very recognizable situation.

  • "But then begins a journey in my head", okay.

  • Here comes the next line.

  • Okay, so "Then begins a journey in my head/To work my mind when body's work's expired".

  • So, this means the journey is in his head to keep his mind busy, to work my mind, keep

  • my mind working, when my body's work has finished.

  • So, the work of his body, all the travelling and carrying, has finished for the day.

  • But he's gone to bed, he's resting his body, but he can't rest his mind.

  • He's thinking.

  • He can't stop thinking.

  • Okay.

  • Next line.

  • Okay, so - so, what is he thinking about?

  • So, he's saying "For then", when that happens, "my thoughts, from far where I abide".

  • So, he's thinking of something that's a long way away.

  • "Where I abide", where I am, here, where I am.

  • He's thinking of something or someone far away.

  • So, "For then my thoughts, from far where I abide", where I am.

  • Somebody a long way away, okay.

  • Here's the next line.

  • So, "For then my thoughts, from far where I abide/Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee".

  • So, he's talking to somebody whose "thee".

  • This is the old word for "you".

  • This is an old-fashioned word meaning "you".

  • He's thinking of somebody a long way away.

  • Again, a recognizable situation, okay.

  • So, "My thoughts intend", meaning they sort of take me, they take me on a - this is another

  • type of journey, a pilgrimage, usually a religious journey.

  • And "zealous" also is a word to do with religious - very strong belief, a zealous pilgrimage.

  • So, he has strong feelings about this person that he's thinking about.

  • They're almost like religious feelings for the person.

  • So, that might - "For then, my thoughts from far where I abide/Intend a zealous pilgrimage

  • to thee".

  • So, his thoughts have gone on a journey, like a religious journey to somebody who he can't

  • stop thinking about, okay?

  • So, next line.

  • So, while he's thinking, his thoughts take him to somewhere else where there is somebody

  • else who is on his mind.

  • And instead of falling asleep, "And keep my drooping eyelids open wide".

  • So, he can't even close his eyes, his eyelids that cover the eye.

  • They may be drooping, his eyelids are going like this, almost closing, that's to droop,

  • like that.

  • But, instead, his eyes are open wide like this, with the eyelids up, because he's still

  • thinking.

  • He can't stop thinking about this person.

  • So, he wants to sleep.

  • He's really tired physically, but his mind won't let him sleep, and he's just got his

  • eyes open in the darkness, thinking about this person.

  • You can't get to sleep doing that, okay?

  • So, right.

  • Next line, okay.

  • So, next line.

  • His eyes are wide open.

  • "Looking on darkness", the room is dark, his eyes are open, but he can only see darkness.

  • "Looking on darkness which the blind do see".

  • So, people who are blind, who can't see, their eyes, you know, they have that - the disability

  • of not being able to see.

  • He feels he's like a blind person.

  • He's lying there in the dark, but with his eyes open, not seeing anything.

  • Well, it's the same for everybody if you're lying in the dark, you can't see anything.

  • So, it's like being blind.

  • So, that's a strange thing to say, but this is a poem.

  • So, the idea of blindness has something - a deeper meaning, perhaps, in the poem, okay.

  • Right, so that's the first eight lines, but we've filled the board.

  • Before we move onto the final six lines, I just want to point out something else about

  • the sonnet, which is the way you get rhyming at the ends of the lines.

  • Okay.

  • So, if you look at the end of each line without worrying about "What does it mean?", you might

  • notice a pattern of repeated rhyming.

  • So, we've got "bed", "tired", "head", "expired", "abide", "thee", "wide", "see".

  • So, I hope you can hear.

  • They're sort of alternating.

  • "Bed, head".

  • "Tired", "expired".

  • "Abide", "wide".

  • "Thee", "see".

  • So, sonnets do this in different patterns.

  • They're not always exactly like this.

  • It depends on what the poet wants to do with it.

  • But we have a way of showing the rhyme scheme just by using letters.

  • A, B, C. So, I'll just show you how that's done, because then you can talk about the

  • rhyme scheme with the letters.

  • So, if you call the first word A, "bed", then "tired" doesn't rhyme with "bed", so you call

  • that B. "Head" does rhyme with "bed", so that's A again.

  • "Expired" rhymes with "tired", so that's B again.

  • "Abide", that doesn't rhyme with anything that's gone before.

  • So, we have to use a new letter - C. "Thee" hasn't come before either, so we need another

  • new letter - D. "Wide" rhymes with "abide", so we use the C again.

  • And then "see" rhymes with "thee", so we use the D again.

  • Okay?

  • So, this far in the sonnet, you can say the rhyme scheme is ABAB, CDCD.

  • Okay?

  • So, I'll just write that up here so we have a note of it for when we look at the rest

  • of the sonnet.

  • So, ABAB, and you can also put a comma just to show, because that is a way of - it sort

  • of creates a structure for the poem.

  • It holds certain lines together.

  • So, that's the effect of the rhyme scheme.

  • So, ABAB, CDCD, and then there will be more to come.

  • Okay.

  • So, I'm going to have to rub all of this off so that we can have the rest of the sonnet.

  • Okay, so we just left the poem where the person is lying in bed with his eyes wide open, looking

  • on the darkness, which the blind do see.

  • Okay.

  • So, then it goes on: Save that my soul's imaginary sight.

  • So, "save that" means except that.

  • So, he's saying he's like a blind person, because he can only see darkness.

  • But he's saying except but my soul can see something.

  • His soul or his heart has a picture in his - puts a picture in his head.

  • So, he's looking on darkness.

  • He's like a blind person, but his soul is showing him something.

  • A picture of something.

  • Okay?

  • Right.

  • Next line coming up.

  • Okay, so, "Save that my soul's imaginary sight/Presents thy shadow" meaning your shadow, the person

  • he's thinking of who is a long way away, it's like a shadow, like a ghost or something.

  • "Presents", shows your shadow, a sort of an outline of this person.

  • He can picture them in his head.

  • "Presents thy shadow to my sightless view".

  • So, he's looking.

  • He can't see anything.

  • His view, his looking, his eyes are sightless, meaning no sight.

  • He can't see anything.

  • But his soul is putting a picture into his head of this person's shadow, their sort of

  • outline, what sort of person they are.

  • Trying to remember what they look like, something like that.

  • So, his mind is working.

  • He's looking into the darkness, but there's a picture in his head that comes from his

  • soul, which is reminding him of somebody and what they look like.

  • Okay.

  • Here comes the next line.

  • Okay, so "Presents thy shadow", your shadow, "to my sightless view/Which", meaning the

  • shadow, the shadow "which like a jewel", like - something like a diamond or a precious stone,

  • a rich jewel, "like a jewel hung", hanging, "in ghastly night".

  • So, the night is dark.

  • "Ghastly" makes it sound like a horror film.

  • A ghastly - it could mean ghostly, like a ghost, which fits with the shadow.

  • But there's darkness here, but there's also something bright, like a jewel.

  • So, he's lying in the dark, but the person he's thinking of is sort of shining brightly,

  • like a jewel.

  • Like a diamond, and the fact that they're like a jewel makes them sound very important

  • and valuable, if you like.

  • A precious - somebody precious, who is very important to him.

  • Okay, so it's just like a jewel there in the darkness, hanging - hanging in the air.

  • "Hung", hanging in the night, okay?

  • The shadow, which is like a jewel, which is a bit of a contradiction, but anyway.

  • The jewel hanging there, "Makes" the "black night beauteous", is like "beautiful".

  • It's an older word meaning "beautiful".

  • So, the jewel hanging there in the darkness makes the black night beautiful.

  • And "her old face new".

  • Now, this is a difficult part.

  • It's difficult to understand.

  • Who is she?

  • "Black night" is a "her"?

  • Is like a woman?

  • You can have a kind of a symbolic idea that the black night is a woman with a black cloak

  • or something.

  • "Her old face", some people think that's like the moon.

  • The moon up in the sky has a face on it.

  • It's quite difficult to really understand this part.

  • But the jewel makes the night beautiful, and it's a kind of refreshing - bringing some

  • light and something new.

  • Making something that was old young again.

  • A refreshing kind of thing.

  • So, even though he can't sleep, he can see something positive in this.

  • Okay?

  • Okay, so we're nearly at the end of the poem.

  • This is the next to last line, and usually with Shakespeare, it's indented a little bit,

  • because the last two lines usually rhyme together.

  • So, they're - it's like what you might call a punchline or two punchlines which completes

  • the poem.

  • So, that's why it's indented a little bit.

  • So, this is a final comment that he's making on his situation, lying in bed tired, but

  • unable to sleep.

  • He saying, "Lo", meaning "here you are".