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Not Better but Biggest

Maybe I’ll feel the need to put these into proper Shakespearean order at some point. Maybe everything ever deserves more than two sonnets. For now:


Seamus Takes an Astronomy Course Part 1: The Beginning


From blind eternities bloom’d fire, light, dust,

In clouds of which torrential dawning birth

Did shake the waking seconds, therein must

Have risen the infinities of Earth.


Each blade of Man’s own craft was forg’d before,

And every bit of silver that his guile

Did rend from bloody soil was score on score

First render’d ‘fore the mountains mile on mile.


Though these days now are seen in brighter hues

Than those that were when eyes and days were none,

Again will come those days-sans-days when muse

Of fire, of light, of dust is iron, is dun.


When all that woke before it yet could wake

Seeks sleep again, will any live to quake?


Seamus Takes an Astronomy Course Part 2: The End


The last that stood in drownèd catacombs,

Or those that watch, long from their home remov’d,

Beneath what might have been celestial domes

That our grandfathers once espied and prov’d,


Will find themselves each witnesses, and each

Will think themselves accursèd, staring there,

Will think of ancient savages and preach

That we’d been better knowing not their care.


Yet here, a beast, I look ahead, the end

Unreal to me and all, I’d think, who know

Just when it can be known, and attend

The dawn and dusk with eyes set on their glow.


Were we yet shiv’ring in the world’s first light,

We’d still long for that wisdom lost to night.

Blow, Wind, and Crack Your Cheeks!

I dunno, I like that line.



I am not a professional dramaturg. I did not hate Theatre Calgary’s production of King Lear. I only saw it once, and that was on the first night of performance.

Still, something’s been nagging at me about that performance.

I’ve expressed some dissatisfaction with Theatre Calgary’s version of the play already in one of the responses for this course. Until Artistic Associate Shari Wattling’s presentation in class last week, perhaps I didn’t have a real grasp of what was bothering me. Hearing her reiterate the company’s vision of the play as a drama focused on Lear and his family, however, began to bring some of the issues I’d picked up on into focus. Later in that same presentation Ms. Wattling also spoke about the (very real) joy of hearing Shakespeare’s villains describing their plots to the audience via direct soliloquy, and this was enough for me to realize what was behind the tension that I had felt.

Theatre Calgary wanted to focus on the relationships of King Lear’s central family, but it seems to me that in doing so they lost a good amount of focus on much of the rest of the production. King Lear is, of course, a family drama. The tensions of sabotage and betrayal extend further than Lear and his daughters, however, and they are not the only characters in the play who deserve an honest portrayal as people with thoughts and motives that are (in their own minds) justified.

To treat Edmund as a villain without the complexity provided to him by the text of the play, without the drive towards murderous intrigue that in his mind is rendered valid by his mistreatment, does much to rob his final attempt at redemption of its impact. Why should an audience be expected to believe Edmund’s final change of heart when throughout the play to that point he has been shown to be only a moustache-twirling evildoer? Michael Blake can’t be accused of delivering a bad performance in the role, but somewhere along the way the unity of the production seems to have unravelled. Edmund became, in this telling of the story, unsympathetic and uncomplicated. This does not seem to me to be the proper state of things for the bleak and grey (morally and otherwise) tale that is King Lear.

I like to root for a good villain. Villains have free reign to be a bit more interesting, a bit more intelligent and conniving than the troublesome protagonists they find themselves pitted against. Shakespeare is to my knowledge beyond all competition in his ability to craft anti-heroes, characters which beg their audiences to secretly cheer them on. Iago and Edmund certainly fall into this category and Macbeth eventually falls to their ranks in his own story. The most famous of Shakespeare’s heroes flirt with that dark and complicated villainy as well, neither Romeo nor Hamlet being above getting their hands dirty. Shakespeare’s tragedies are driven by their villains and by their soon-to-be villains, and to see one of them excluded from his most profound moments of family drama by the seemingly simplistic decisions behind this production of King Lear was certainly a disappointment.

Genres + modes: visual art

Hear’s a drawing of Antonio’s  arrest, as he pleads for viola( disguised as Cesario), who he thinks is Sebastian to save him. viola is surrounded by sir Andrew and Sir Toby.  I chose to draw this because it carries over that element of disguise and false identity present in Twelfth Night.


Lost Sonnet

And here’s a last try:


You feel the need to be lost in the crowd.
A jumble of people, of food, and light,
For you can scream, dance, or be super loud.
Best of all, you can blend into the night.

There’s really no direction to follow.
Nothing to guide you, or make you go.
People make you feel a lot less hollow,
Filling you up inside, letting you glow.


However, it’s best when no one knows you,
For you can be truly another face.
Belonging in the crowd, feeling so true,
Floating around, just being very you.


You have to be lost to find something new,
To discover that you are in the view.

Sonnet #3

Your eyes shine like a galaxy of stars,

your skin is as soft as a kitten is.

Your lips are as red as the sand of Mars,

making me want to come and steal a kiss.

My mind is occupied by thoughts of you,

you stay in my thoughts throughout the whole day.

You never leave, no matter what I do,

the love that I feel, is what I must say.

For when I am with you, this way I feel,

The butterflies fly and the birds do sing.

Sometimes I question if this is all real,

and if you will ever accept my ring.

Will the universe just give me a sign,

so that I can make this beauty all mine.

Angst Sonnet

Here is another try at a sonnet:

Do I just blend into the scenery?
Like roses in a garden collection,
Or another piece of machinery,
For you never look in my direction.
Am I another current in the sea?
Just another push of the rolling wind,
Or an extra general yellow bee.
Have your shut me, closed me out of your mind?


When did you start to forget about me?
You promised me we would be together,
Embraced forever, laughing, dancing free.
But now our distance has widened further.


I will not forget, nor will I forgive,
To forget me you will have to outlive.

Sonnet #2

When the leaves change to yellow and red,

and the trees branches become cold and bare.

When thoughts are no longer inside my head,

you will find darkness awaiting in there.

For time passes, no matter what you do,

Just as the seasons are going to change.

Night changes to day, darkness to light too,

As you can see there can be quite a range.

As time passes, it can be a real friend,

for it can truly cause for you to grow.

One certainty is time, you cannot bend,

and the future is always unknown.

As time can be but a friend or a foe,

you decide which when it’s your time to go.

Sonnet #1

Once again you have made me be a fool,

your lying words have left me in some pain.

Your actions are like a typical ghoul,

leaving me with some thoughts that are insane.

Your lies are darker than the souls of black,

that fill up the fiery gates of hell.

You say them with the meaning of attack,

and your virtue you are willing to sell.

But no matter what you do or you say,

I will preserver through all of the pain.

Peace I will feel while in my grave I lay,

for there is nothing else for me to gain.

So now that your threats damage me no more,

thats all I need to settle the score.

King Lear at Theatre Calgary

Wow, This was just amazing!

So last weekend on Saturday, April 4th I had gone to see King Lear at Theatre Calgary, and my what an experience. It was my first time seeing a Shakespeare play live, and my goodness, the production was excellent. I won’t elaborate too much since many others on the blog have posted similar thoughts on the play.

I will say though that, after watching the 2008 film with Ian McKellen, I somehow feel that this play did a better job telling a more cohesive story. The finer focus on the family relations, both in Lear’s family as well as between Gloucester and his sons, made the story all the more touching and dramatic. I will also say I came into the play thinking that the props and costumes would be minimal, with a focus on performance. Much to my surprise, I found the props to be fantastic, and the stage was flexible enough to convincingly transform into a new setting both efficiently and effectively. Of course the performances were also great, and every performer was able to not only hold their own, but contribute to the emotional weight of the story.

One of the scenes that stood out most to me was the one were Gloucester gets his eyes gouged out. The live visual effects were just gripping, with blood gushing out, and included the Duke of Cornwall dropping a fleshy prop eye on the ground and stepping on it. But perhaps my most favorite scenes were the ones that included the live sword battles, particularly when Edmund was on screen. I find these are quite effective and worth including in a production whenever possible since they really good at holding an audiences attention and provide a nice break from the more speech-y parts, keeping the audience interested and entertained. Obviously the best of these was the final showdown between Edmund and Edgar. I never though I could experience the same epic blockbuster action feeling from a live play, but I’m sure many would agree this was as good as it gets on stage.

If you haven’t seen it yet and are still thinking about it, I definitely recommend it.

My ticket:


-Ishmael Gowralli

Poetry 1: Love Sonnet

Yes… I suck at this. But it was worth a try.

You are like the sun and the moon to me.
For you are there imbedded in my heart,
There to complete the missing part of me.
I wish that we will never be apart.


Sometimes it is hard to look you in the eye,
For your loveliness outshines everything.
It is hard to describe what underlie,
Nor the joy your kind eyes, and sweet smiles bring.


Yet you do not believe that I love you,
For you do not see the love in my eyes.
This knowledge makes me very cold and blue.
Do you think I am wearing a disguise?


As long as I love you I will try hard,
So that you can at last see my love card.