Sunday, November 06, 2005

Yellow Leaves

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayest in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


I found myself reciting this sonnet from memory to Dean as we were driving out to the University district today. It came out of nowhere, reminding me of my Shakespeare class in the 70's with Dr. Coldeway. It's so sappy (the sonnet) but so perfect.

Compare it to this contemporary lyric from the Mamas and the Papas, which is an obvious rip-off (~grin~), right down to the church, the preacher, the love interest, and "death's second self" in the guise of a journey to LA:

California Dreamin'

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day

I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

Stopped into a church
I passed along the way
Oh, I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray

You know the preacher likes the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day

If I didnt tell her
I could leave today
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

(California dreamin')
On such a winter's day
(California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

2 comments:

eeksypeeksy said...

The rhythm of "When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang" always makes me think of leaves dropping off a tree.

JODSTER said...

Boy.. and I thought Old Willy was the plagiarist...