Awesome Sylvia

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


25 thoughts on “Awesome Sylvia

    1. I hope so.
      Whenever I do something like this I half expect one of my childhood teachers to tell me off and make me write a hundred lines:
      I must not be rude to Mr Shakespeare
      I must not be rude to Mr Shakespeare
      🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Seriously?
          I love doing these – I probably find them funnier than any of my readers do and I have to take laughter breaks every couple of minutes.
          On a practical level, I trawl through a lot of poems before I find one that lends itself to my brand of ridiculous humour. It would take forever for me to do enough to fill a book.
          I wish I had a reachable record of every good idea you’ve given me.


  1. It is a translation, though isn’t it? And you can earn top dollar for that particular skill. Elizabethan English to South Western ‘Street’. Methinks the lady shouldst construct a blog with her fairest of hands on that very notion 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Ah, love that character. When the Beeb broadcast the series Dickensian (mashing lots of the Dickens characters together in the same story – much better than it sounds) they had Miss H as a young woman about to marry – it was heartbreaking knowing that lovely girl was going to end up bitter, twisted, burned with her own wedding cake.
            I think we’ll give the Miss Havershams a miss actually 🙂


              1. Me too. Wearing your wedding dress, your dessicated cake and wedding meal mouldering around you … She’s a spiteful, twisted ghost of a woman, and though she ruins Estella I still feel sorry for her when she burns.

                Liked by 1 person

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