William Shakespeare

He may have died 400 years ago, today on April 23, 1616, but his advice remains fresh and relevant.  One of my favourite passages is Sigh No More Ladies from “Much Ado About Nothing” which reminds us that our lives are not meant for melancholy, but for living with joyous abandonment.    William Shakespeare’s notion that blame falls to men’s nature as “deceivers ever” – well, I will leave that to you to decide.  In the meantime, here is my tribute to William Shakespeare:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
          Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
          To one thing constant never.
               Then sigh not so,
               But let them go,
          And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
          Into ‘hey nonny, nonny’.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
          Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
          Since summer first was leavy.
               Then sigh not so,
               But let them go
          And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
          Into ‘hey nonny, nonny’.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

18 thoughts on “Sigh No More, Ladies

  1. A bonny and scintillating tribute to the dear Bard, thank you for this!! Loved it! P.S. Have you seen the wee comedy show from BBC- “Upstart Crow”? Something else! A comedy about Shakespeare. Trust all is well with you. Cheers,

    smiling toad

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    • All is well in my side of the world. Heading to a Highland Games in Kamloops BC Canada. I looked up Upstart Crow!! When I return to Vancouver will check whether we will have access in Canada! Would love to see it. Take care and have a wonder weekend!💛💛💛

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    • I am so pleased that you share my love of this passage. This was one of the first lines that my son memorized before going on to Henry V – St. Crispin’s Day speech. He was in the first grade. Most of his grade school teachers thought we were pushing him too hard, but 20 years later, he recalls every word of “Sign no more…” I love the prologue of Henry V – ‘Oh for a muse of fire.”

      I am enjoying your posts immensely. Thank you.

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    • Thank you for making my day pure sunshine (even when we are experiencing a deluge of fresh rain in Vancouver). I started to recite poetry just recently after listening to an audiobook of poetry. There is something about listening as opposed to reading. Out of that came the idea of recitation. What a difference in perspective. It has been great fun.

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  2. What a treat to hear your voice for the first time, Rebecca! I enjoyed your reading, and it reminded me of some good times watching the play put to film with Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington. I think my husband and I watched the movie at least three times. When I hear “Sigh no more!” I hear the actors voices from the film and I want to sing along.

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    • You just made my day, Lori! I’ve been off the grid for a few days visiting family in Edmonton, Alberta. I love poetry and find that when I read the words aloud, I become immersed in the beauty and emotional impact of the poet’s thoughts. I would love to hear your voice speaking your poetry. I use Soundcloud, but there are many other methods. Leonardo da Vinci says it better than I could: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” Have a wonderful day.

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    • I am enjoying the recitation – reminds of being in grade school!!! But with a fresh enjoyment. Check out Soundcloud – would love to hear your voice reading poetry. I am learning how to work the microphone which is not as simply as it looks. Every moment causes a rattle. I was thinking of reading the Witches Chant: “double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Oh…I do like those three!

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    • Happy Sunday, my dear friend. I am so glad you enjoyed my reading. I find that I gain a fresh insight into the words. When we read, we miss some of the words, but when you read, ah – you can’t skim over the lines. And I have learned that we speak fast, too fast to fully appreciate each syllable. It has been a great deal of fun. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, finding the rabbit hole. Stay tuned for more!

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      • I have tried for hours today because I wanted to find out how you managed to integrate an audio into a picture and make the picture appear when you edit your post. I just managed to get a link. You Tube didn’t accept just an image. I also felt like Alice in Wonderland!!:) All the best, Rebecca.

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      • I use SoundCloud which allows me to speak into my computer; once I save the file it lets me upload a photo. There is a share button that provides a “WordPress” file that can fit into a post. So glad you joined me down the rabbit hole!!!

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  3. Yes, 400 years–and he still made the National News. The commentator sang his praises, saying that he spoke eloquently of all and on many topics without giving offence. Be that as it may, we all have to acknowledge his genius. Love the reading of “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more”.

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