As #some of my followers are aware, I occasionally update an old poem, to make its meaning clearer. Today I offer you a nice little poem by William Shakespeare – or Bill Shaky, as he’s known by all his mates – and my translation into comtemporary language.
First, Ole Shaky’s effort, which I’m sure people understood back in the day:
Who is Silvia, what is she?
That all her swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.
Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness;
Love doth to her eyes repair.
To help him of his blindness;
And being help’d, inhabits there.
Then to Sylvia let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling;
To her let us garlands bring.
Now comes my own (rather more modern) take on it. I think you’ll agree it makes more sense:
who’s Silvia, what’s she got
to make all those randy guys rave about her?
well, she’s religious, blonde and clever.
she borrowed her grace
just to get blokes’ tongue’s ‘angin’ out.
ok, so is she nice as well as blonde?
‘cos good looks an’ kindness are shacked up together.
Mr Love runs over to ‘er eyes and jumps in,
so’s ‘e can see again,
an’ it works, so he goes to live there.
let’s sing a song to Silvia
about ‘ow awesome she is.
she’s better’an anyone else
living on this this boring planet,
so let’s give ‘er a bunch of flowers.
My apologies, Mr Shakespeare, if you happen to be turning in your grave. I only parody those for whom I have the utmost respect – poor writing is parody in itself.
Now I’m going be very brave – or very foolish – and click publish.
©Jane Paterson Basil