Sonnet Twenty -Nine By William Shakespeare, adapted by Rufus Wainwright

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

 Too many Shakespeare is simply something one is forced to study in high school, the beauty of the words and the rhythms lost to teenage ears. To others, Shakespeare is part of an elitist past, meant only for the world of academia. To many though, myself included, the words and the themes are still part of our personal journey, to be freshly discovered over again.

On his forthcoming album, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare’s Sonnets, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has chosen to adapt nine of  Shakespeare’s sonnets in honor the anniversary of the poet’s death. The album features appearances as diverse as William Shatner, Carrie Fisher and Florence Welsh, from Florence and the Machine fame. Among the adaptions is a beautiful rendering of Sonnet 29.


There are a number of Youtube videos, including :

I chose this one for it’s simple beauty.

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