Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Full Fathom Five by William Shakespeare

Today, the second song performed by Ariel in Act I, sc. 2 of The Tempest. I say the "second song", even though some people believe it's a second verse to "Come Unto These Yellow Sands" because the rhyme scheme and verse structure are a bit different. Also, a musical setting of "Full Fathom Five" as a separate song has survived from Shakespeare's time to the present, set to music by King James I's lutenist, Robert Johnson, so I rather suspect they had different tunes as originally performed.

I've just now finished reading an ARC of Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev, sequel to Eyes Like Stars, which I so loved from last year. The book does not come out until June of this year, so I sha'n't post too much about it just yet. I will say, however, that I adore it, and that Ariel has me swooning and more determined than ever to read The Tempest, a copy of which I have already purchased in preparation for this year's Brush Up Your Shakespeare Month, which is shaping up to have lots of discussion and several fabulous prizes. But I digress.

The lines "those are pearls that were his eyes./Nothing of him that doth fade,/But doth suffer a seachange" have been on heavy rotation on brainradio for me for months (yes, brainradio plays more than music - it recites poetry as well), so it's no surprise that they came surging to the fore yet again once I spent so much time with Ariel.

Full Fathom Five
by William Shakespeare

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.


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