Dear Curiosity Journal,
An undergraduate memory emerged from yesterday’s reflections of growing older. As an English Literature major, I was required to take two Shakespeare courses, and I summoned a faint remembrance of a sonnet in which Shakespeare uses the somber image of winter to describe his time of life. With the help of my curiosity and a search engine, I restored my recollection of Sonnet 73;
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
These lines aren’t what we may consider modern love letter material, but his end game was that his lover ought to make a move before the season turned. The spinning of the seasons is an ever-present reminder of our own mortality, that we are a part of the cycle, and death is written into the contract of life. Scholars say that Shakespeare was not well educated and therefore took his imagery directly from the natural world rather than from classic literature, as highly trained poets did. This struck me as odd. How is drawing from life “lowbrow” and holding a candle to the canon “highbrow”? I personally ascertain more meaningful connections when I place myself in the story of the natural world, the landscape, and the cosmos. My current life season see’st the twilight of dwindling sight, as I coincidentally discovered the need to wear my glasses yesterday. I see you Shakespeare. I see you Winter.