Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Eye of Silence

I have a friend who holds a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley named Justin Botros. He is one of the most intellectually curious and creative people I know. One night we were discussing how spatial reasoning was as important a skill to develop in poetry as it is for architects. In poetic circles, we've been talking about the intersections at which architecture and poetry meet for a long time now. I don't know how much they talk about it in architecture classes, but when Justin Botros and I discussed it, his idea wheels started turning. The conversation quickly turned to the structure of Shakespeare's sonnets.

I am not an expert on the sonnets. I know a bit more than the average Joe, I guess, but I am far from being able to recite more than one, and I don't really know which number is which. Luckily, I know the leading expert on the subject, Stephen Booth. Stephen Booth's favorite sonnet is 15.

When I consider every thing that grows

Holds in perfection but a little moment,

That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows

Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;

When I perceive that men as plants increase,

Cheered and cheque'd even by the self-same sky,

Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,

And wear their brave state out of memory;

Then the conceit of this inconstant stay

Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,

Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,

To change your day of youth to sullied night;

And all in war with Time for love of you,

As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

I told Mr. Botros about sonnet 15. Justin decided to do his own analysis of it through architecture. It is one of my favorite pieces of art that has been created around me, and I am very proud of the small part I played in its creation.

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