Shaking Up A Sonnet – #NaPoWriMo19 – 27

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health Add comments

Hey there!


“…I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, like “hey baby, this poem will make you immortal” (Sonnet XVIII) or “I’m really bad at saying I love you but maybe if I look at you adoringly, you’ll understand what I mean” (Sonnet XXIII)…”

[NaPoWriMo site]


It is our wedding anniversary today.  We sat on the couch with the kids and watched a couple of nervous 30-somethings say their vows to each other, remarked upon the length of my dress and how hard it was to walk in, calculated how old different family members must have been then, etc etc.  Our Youngest liked the song we’d picked for our first dance (Katie Melua’s Nine Million Bicycles), and our Eldest was asking about the logistics of me getting in and out of the bridal car 😉

So when I read the prompt for today’s NaPo contribution, I decided to look at Sonnet number 27 (because we met on the 27th of March 2005 and were married on the 27th of April 2008…) and I realised that it was a fitting Sonnet, as it is about being really tired after a busy day, but one’s mind spanning the miles to a lover as soon as one lies down.

Being a ruminator, however, the 3rd and 4th lines have a darker meaning for me, too:

“But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired…”

So I decided to change some of Shakespeare’s words to tweak the feel of the poem from  one of romantic infatuation to one of anxiety.  I have given Shakespeare’s lines in grey and the ones I’m using in blue, so you can see how they compare and contrast…like the good wee English scholar I was taught to be, haha.

** Trigger warning for some of the imagery I’ve used **


Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
Wearing a tee, Hub snoring in my bed,

The dear respose for limbs with travel tir’d;
The dear lord knows I’ve never been so tir’d;

But then begins a journey in my head

But then begins a journey in my head

To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:

To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:

Woman behind a book of Shakespeare's work


For then my thoughts–from far where I abide—

My stupid thoughts—their whirl I can’t abide–

Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,

Intend a zealous voyage out my tree,

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,

Looking on darkness which the blind do see:

Musing on pointless questions I do see:

Save that my soul’s imaginary sight

The demons that I should keep out of sight

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,

Present their shadows to my helpless view,

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,

Which, like a slipknot hung in ghastly light,

Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.

Makes blessed night dangerous, and her sweet face skew.

Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,

Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,

For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.

For Hub, and for myself, no quiet find.


I rather enjoyed messing about with the bard’s work 😉

Only three more April poems to write for this year!  I can’t believe that I have managed to keep up (and post up) an entry for every day with all the holidays and kid wrangling.  (I know a few, like this one, have had to be backdated by half a day or so, but the poems have still all been accounted for).

Meet you back here later 🙂


[Pic is from here]


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