Monday, August 24, 2015

SHAKESPEARE'S LOST WEED SONNETS By Anthony Lydgate, The New Yorker Magazine


South African scientists have discovered that 400-year-old tobacco pipes excavated from the garden of William Shakespeare contained cannabis, suggesting the playwright might have written some of his famous works while high.

Let me not to the ripping of sweet reef
Admit impediments. Bud is not bud
Which hath seeds, bro, and insufficient leaf,
Or lots of stems and other kinds of crud.
O, no! it hath crystals like unto snow
Fall’n upon Mont Blanc’s o’ertowering peak;
Moss of Olympus, Poseidon’s hydro!
Nor too wet nor too dry, and yet it reek.
Bud’s not merest Cannabis sativa,
Though the botanist Swede christen it thus;
Bud chaseth off harsh vibes with a cleaver,
Except if the dealer was a bit sus.
If this be error and upon me smit,
I never toked, nor no man e’er got lit.
Shall I compare thee to a Purple Haze?
Thou art far kinder, we’re talking righteous bush.
Rough kids do snatch the darling buds from May’s,
And Summer’s lease is up (landlord = douche):
Where, then, will I find thee, honeyed kaya,
When my cursèd suppliers do run out?
Perhaps succor shall I beg of Maya,
Although she hath a tendency to shout.
Dime bag or nug, I’ll lie on the carpet
And smoke my spliff, or in sooth just a roach,
For Anne is full vexed: “Lay off, please, stop it!”
One whiff of ganj and anon she’ll encroach.
So long as dudes can breathe and birds have feather,
That rug really ties the room together.
When to the sessions of sweet silent bong
I summon up remembrance of doobs past,
Methinks I trounce his worship Tommy Chong,
For my weed game shall not soon be outclassed.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, thy glow!
Thy vapors curl from Delphi’s oracle,
That even the sun god himself says, “Whoa.”
(And I’m not being allegorical.)
Call thou the strain Twelfth Night, or what you will,
This Will knows the primo cheeb from the junk:
Afgooey, Trainwreck, or perchance Space Jill,
Purple Urkel, Voodoo, nay, Pineapple Skunk.
The joint’s burning low, so let me be frank:
All the world’s a stage, and stages be dank.
I've highlighted language I question.
For the readers of this post, do you agree that much of the
language highlighted is more 20th century? E.g., suppliers,
dime bag, lit, primo cheeb from the junk, joint, Purple
Haze (ala Jimi Hendrix?).

Do you believe this language was actually used during
Shakespeare's time?
There's no question that writers/artists in the past to present
have used substances, be it cocaine, cannabis, alcohol while
writing. It's the language used I question that makes me
question the legitimacy of these sonnets.
As I mentioned other writers come to mind who have most
obviously been under the influence.
Such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll;
the idea of Carroll under the influence made famous by
Jefferson Airplane's song, White Rabbit.

White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane

Other obvious users, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while writing
Sherlock Holmes, creating a cocaine user, possible addict?

All those snuff boxes?

Sigmund Freud.

Nowhere until these sonnets have I seen such language used
today which truly makes me question their validity although
I don't doubt that during Shakespeare's writing, were they
penned while under the influence of mind-altering

I would love to hear your opinion? What do you think?

Or am I totally naïve to the fact that these sonnets are spoofs
to begin with.

Purple Haze, Jim Hendrix Experience

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see what you're saying Petra. It almost makes me think that these sonnets were written as a goof. Is that possible? The writer of the article just includes the sonnets with nothing else other than Shakespeare's pipe was found by So. African scientists showing it has cannabis.

You know Petra. I don't think Shakespeare used such slang vocabulary. So that's why I'm leaning towards meant as a literary joke? but don't understand why, if you know what I mean. I think you're guess is as good as mine.

Very interesting Petra, as always!

Love, K. :)