Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another Couple Reasons to Blog...

And some thoughts on Blogging as Curation.

The Sonnet: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day

Two brilliant, yet very different takes, on Shakespeare's famous sonnet #18

Sonnet XVIII: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
   So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

How many lines does a sonnet have?

Sonnet - Billy Collins

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here wile we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.

Shakespeare's Vocabulary

Teenagers 'only use 800 different words a day'

From The Telegraph:

A generation of teenagers who communicate via the Internet and by text messages are risking unemployment because their daily vocabulary consists of just 800 words, the Government's new children's communication tsar has warned.

Vicky Pollard's catchphrase entered in humorous Oxford Dictionary
Vicky Pollard's 'yeah', 'no' and 'but' are some of the words used by teenagers 


FYI - From Wikipedia:

Native-language vocabulary size[edit]

Native speakers' vocabularies vary widely within a language, and are especially dependent on the level of the speaker's education. A 1995 study shows that junior-high students would be able to recognize the meanings of about 10,000-12,000 words, while for college students this number grows up to about 12,000-17,000 and for elderly adults up to about 17,000-21,000 or more.[9]

The importance of a vocabulary

  • An extensive vocabulary aids expression and communication.
  • Vocabulary size has been directly linked to reading comprehension.[8]
  • Linguistic vocabulary is synonymous with thinking vocabulary.[8]
  • A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary.
  • Wilkinson (1972) once said," Without grammar, very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed."

Lastly, a mind-blowing number of words, guess how many words are used by Shakespeare in The Complete Works of Shakespeare? Click here for Answer.

Here's a sampling of words that Shakespeare invented.

Words, Words... Words

"Without grammar, very little can be conveyed; 
Without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed." 
- David Wilkinson 


1. Select a WORD from Act I or Act II.

2. And then free associate with a word map. 
Consider all the synonyms and connotations connected to your word.  

3. Search your word in the play via shakespeare.mit.edu 

For inspiration....

Wordle.com from Act II 

4. Now the fun part: Write a quick poem!
  1. Write 6 lines - First four lines need not rhyme - but you must end with a rhyming couplet.
  2. Create IMAGERY through two examples of figurative language: personification, metaphor, simile, euphemism, hyperbole, or litotes.
  3. Include an allusion - classical, biblical, or even contemporary pop culture
  4. Include a "Reversed word" 
  5. Write a "Reversed thought"
  6. Consider the sounds of the words: alliteration, consonance, or assonance.
  7. Consider writing in the first person; the Speaker "I" may be any character in the play. 
But first - let's revisit Act II Scene III for examples...

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain'd from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

5. In your best poetry voice, read aloud your six lines of verse. 

Romeo & Juliet: The Balcony Scene

Act II Scene II

Romeo & Juliet: The Trailers