Smash Flops: You Can't Expect To Be Remembered

You Can't Expect To Be Remembered

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Annotations by David Jones, with contribution from Mel Powell.

The bards of old were bold about their claims upon posterity	Francesco Petrarch, Italian, "The first modern
Petrarch, Shakespeare and Ronsard were never slow to guarantee	man of letters". b 1304, d 1374. See
Their loved ones' immortality
They never said Farewell, they said So long --
So long lives this and this gives life to thee			Pierre Ronsard, French, b 1524, d 1585.
They didn't doubt the power of a rhyme				Poet, adventurer and scholar (after becoming
Or the durability of scribbled pages				totally deaf). Was for some time in service at
And so they wrote immortal lines to Time			the court of James V of Scotland. Consciously
That gave their love affairs to all the ages			imitated Petrarch in some of his poems. See

And if eternity were still a good address			"So long lives this" and "immortal lines to time" 
And if my skill were greater, fears were less				- Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, see below.
I'd do the same for you, my dear
But since it isn't and they aren't
I can't see my way clear
To promising the permanence of all our joy and sorrow
Very far beyond the early evening of tomorrow

You can't expect to be
Remembered like somebody in a song
Whose name fits to a string of quavers
Or last for anything like as long

No-one in times to come
Will read your praises written down to stay
In balanced lapidary phrases
Not that they wouldn't if I knew the way

You'd be there
With all the ladies of the sonnets, dark and fair		Shakespeare wrote sonnets to his "Dark Lady".
If only I could work the trick
Of giving local habitation to the air				From "A Midsummer Night's Dream", see below.
But it just doesn't seem to click

You'll never hear from me
That your name will live until the sun is cool
You can't expect to be remembered
You wouldn't catch me being such a fool

Midnight Voices member Mel Powell writes:
"The other, and probably better known Shakespearean source for the same
song is Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?), which

Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
(Cambridge University Press edition, p 9)

Interesting not just for the obvious 'so long' source, but for 
immortal/eternal lines to time."

The relevant "Midsummer Night's Dream" passage is of interest. Here is the full text:

"A Midsummer Night's Dream", Act V Scene I

More strange than true: I never may believe 
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. 
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, 
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend 
More than cool reason ever comprehends. 
The lunatic, the lover and the poet 
Are of imagination all compact: 
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, 
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic, 
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: 
The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling, 
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; 
And as imagination bodies forth 
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing 
A local habitation and a name. 
Such tricks hath strong imagination, 
That if it would but apprehend some joy, 
It comprehends some bringer of that joy; 
Or in the night, imagining some fear, 
How easy is a bush supposed a bear! 

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