Sunday, 6 November 2016
The Found in the Public Domain special series continues with  by Melissa Frederick, composed from words and letters in Shakespeare’s sonnet 43.
About the poem and the process of creating it, Melissa says:
“This poem is part of a series of erasures—deletions, I’m calling them—of Shakespeare’s sonnets. What I do to construct the poems is this: I go to the ‘Shakespeare’s Sonnets’ page on EServer, an open-access arts and humanities web site founded in 1990. The sonnets page presents you with a block of three-digit numbered links—no quotations, no first lines—from 001 to 154. I choose a number at random, click on the link, and type the sonnet I find there into my computer. I read the text as many times as I have to for the meaning to sink in. Then, when I have the first few words in my head, I start hitting the backspace button. The only rule of law I adhere to is letter order. Words and parts of words in the original sonnet can be eliminated, and line breaks and punctuation can be removed or added at will (hah!) by me.
I do my best to make some sort of connection between my piece and Shakespeare’s vision. In this case, sonnet 43 discusses how the speaker’s lover appears only in dreams and makes night seem brilliant as day and day miserable as darkness. In , I was inspired by a ukulele tune played at the end of a George Harrison tribute concert (really!) to expand the night/day, presence/absence metaphor to incorporate life/death as well.”