Sonnet 122 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 122 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) ['Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain: Το δώρο σου, το ημερολόγιο, το 'χω μες]


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Sonnet 122 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 122 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) [Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain: Το δώρο σου, το ημερολόγιο, το ’χω μες]

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full charactered with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain,
Beyond all date, even to eternity:
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
Of thee, thy record never can be missed.
That poor retention could not so much hold,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more:
To keep an adjunct to remember thee
Were to import forgetfulness in me.

Το δώρο σου, το ημερολόγιο, το ’χω μες
στον νου μου όλο γραμμένο με διάρκειας μνήμη,
που πάνω από ματαιότητες φθαρτές
και πέρα από φυλλάδες αιώνια θα μείνει.
Ή κι όσο, ως θέλει η φύση, θα ’ναι νους καρδιά
κι ώσπου το μέρος του από σένα το καθένα
το παραδώσει στο ερείπιο λησμονιά,
ο λόγος δε θα πάψει να μιλάει για σένα.
Φθαρτό πράμα η φυλλάδα, ή μη στην τσέτουλα
να χάραζα την ακριβή σου αγάπη; Αυτό
μ’ έκανε να τη δώσω πίσω πιο καλά
και σ’ άλλη (να χωρέσεις) θα σ’ εμπιστευτώ.
Να θέλω βοήθημα για να σε θυμηθώ
είναι σαν να ’χω πιει της λήθης το νερό.

Μετάφραση: Βασίλης Ρώτας

The poet admits to having given away, or to having lost, a notebook which was a gift to him from the youth. The insignificance of the event has led commentators to believe that the detail must be biographical, for it is too trivial to be part of a traditional sonnet sequence of lofty sentiments, and therefore probably relates to an actual incident. The idea of tables (a notebook) to record the loved one's perfections had already been used by Ronsard in one of his sonnets, an extract of which is given below. The difference seems to be that Ronsard's sonnet expresses the ideal of a sublime love, whereas Shakespeare seems to relate much more to the untidiness of lived experience. He has committed a serious fault in carelessly giving away a gift which he appears not to have used. Yet this was from the beloved whom he claimed to love more than anything else in the world. He can only excuse this fault by claimimg that all is retained forever in the security of his mind, or, if not forever, for as long as he lives and breathes. This is something of a descent from the heights of immortality. But what else can be done - the fault has been found out and an excuse must be invented? In the circumstances this is not a bad one, and the youth has the additional satisfaction of being told that he will always be at the forefront of his lover's thoughts.


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