Sonnet 57

So, I’ve been going back and memorizing some of my favorite poems. I decided to refresh Sonnet 57 first. It’s nice and easy.

Being your slave, what should I do but tend 
Upon the hours and times of your desire? 
I have no precious time at all to spend, 
Nor services to do, till you require. 
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour 
When you have bid your servant once adieu; 
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought 
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose, 
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
   So true a fool is love that in your will,
   Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill. 

This one is particularly easy to memorize. The repetition of Nor is helpful. The last bit is a bit complicated and can sometimes get confused because you have: Where you may be, and then you have Where you are. I suggest you use the method where you repeat the whole thing each time through, adding two sentences each time. Or one if you are having trouble with two.

So a memorization practice would go like this:

Being you slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend
Nor services to do, till you require

And on and on in this fashion. With each part you should see some kind of image in your mind. A slave using small clocks as money. Works for me in the first part, then one of those British Guards giving a clock some stink eye and so on.

About Jason

I am a 31 year old programmer living in the south of France. I currently work actively in the fields of Ruby/PHP/Javascript and server/website administration.
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