Modern Manners #sonnet29

From time to time I like to take the first line of a favourite poem and rewrite the rest. Sonnet 29 is one of Shakespeare’s most famous. This is it

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,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
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 remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

It’s about all sorts: self pity and self loathing and envy. This is my take, from a modern perspective.

When in disgrace, with fortune and men’s eyes,

I binge on chocolate and crappy box sets.

The world is fucked and I really despise

All those smug sods who post about their pets

And photograph their food, and their taut abs

While they try to influence some weak fool

With products that promise to fight the flab

And change them from dork to the super cool.

I don’t need the fix of counting likes,

And emojis are a stupid drug

For those for whom the latest Nikes

Are free in return for a casual plug.

So what if I’m thought a pariah?

My moral plinth could not be higher.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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16 Responses to Modern Manners #sonnet29

  1. oops, I photograph my food and talk about my pet. Sorry Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought about putting a “thumbs up” emoji along with the “well done.” expletive, but somehow talked myself out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We who would stand on our high soap boxes if only we could scramble up onto them, salute you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth says:

    That was another poem I had to memorize in school. I much prefer your version. My daughter tells me that all those dining photos are called “food porn.” Sounds about right.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. George says:

    I think that’s what Will was teaching for. Fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmmm… well, it might could use a bit of work around the parts about “super cool” and “crappy box sets;” besides those, Mr. LePard, you’re a promising poet.

    Liked by 1 person

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