Other people may see a dead end or else insurmountable, unquestionable perfection, but I see yet another hurdle to be climbed over or else, however beautiful, an odd and mere chance creation, which might have been so or so, and is still as of yet awaiting further or complete variation. Such is my interpretation ofclassical impressionism, and such is my interpretation of literature, and ultimately, such is my interpreation of the spirit. It was in this vein that I wrote these free variations on Shakespeare's perhaps most famous sonnet nr. XVII, in order to plead for myself as a living, feeling, constructing artist once again, and to express all the longing and ambition inside me, for I fear I am not taken oe'rmuch seriously in the world abroad and especially in certain chambers here in Dresden. So instead of feeling downtrodden by this, I choose to live out the pain and open possibility invested in me in artistic reverence and varying musical delight. I wrote elsewhere - there never is just one possibility, there are at least two, three, four, and in some cases even seventeen. Out of the same grappling, varying spirit does in essence my approach to painting come. I've always asked myself, why form this perspective alone, or why is the sitter's body cut off there? The one variation - like a chance product - has never really seemed enough, has never satisfied me as being of necessity. I've always asked myself - why not a little to the left or to the right?
The changing seasons bind us more into the grand wave form of the environment. I think they are the most natural, absolute and logical; and so may these four seasonal variations on Shakespeare's "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day", be they ever so naieve and incomplete, best serve as my artistic credo, which instead of any tedious manifesto, I hereby write for the reader's and viewers delight.

 

I.

 

Shall I compare you to a spring-time morn?

You are more lively and your fortunate

Touch has woken me before the day has dawned;

I lie in expectation consummate.

 

No cold or trepidation sour, poisons

My happiness, grown out of the seed sown

By your coming. Towards the sun inclines,

And as a flower whose colour speaks to crown

 

The verdant green of fields and woods outstretched,

This word whose blooms I offer up to you,

Entwined in searching tendril thoughts far-fetched,

Reaching as if to hold or capture true,

The awakening force you’ve spun in me,

Borne on the blossoms fragrant mystery.


© Christopher Haley Simpson 2009

 

II.

 

Shall I compare you to a summer’s day?

All green and sun-gilded, filled with music

Of unexpected birds come out to play,

Fluttering in the tree tops, floating lyric

 

To the broad river which ripples below,

Or up the other valley side whose forests

Shade pleasant ways, where true lovers walk slow,

Gathering flowers for Cupid’s new crest.

 

T’was he who first wounded us in the summer,

We met upon a busy street by chance;

His hot arrows pierced us, made us shiver,

T’was the nervous beginning of a dance.

You are the beautiful summer landscape,

To where my fond thoughts shall always escape.


© Christopher Haley Simpson 2009

 

III.

 

Shall I compare you to an autumn eve?

You are the harvest lover at my door

The corn and orange carrier I conceive;

The sweat drips from your brow onto the floor.

 

You steal me off into the meadows gold,

Need no persuasion to become your apple;

As your embraces, kisses become bold,

In love’s exhilaration we grapple.

 

Now for the other each becomes the fruit,

We delve into the opened skin and the

Distinction between ourselves once so acute,

Dissolves impassioned in the artery.

True love accelerates the pounding heart

Where hasteful harvest blissfulness must start.


© Christopher Haley Simpson 2009

 

IV.

 

Shall I compare you to a winters night?

When the snow fall all beauty enhances.

Your body’s a dark landscape clothed in white;

Over which my reindeer soul now prances.

 

In such light your eyes twinkle diamond-like

My face is alert to the touch of your frost,

New ways we run through the fresh snow dream-like;

Not awake but asleep, in our eyes do we trust.

 

In the wood where the leaves are all fallen,

I follow amidst scratching branches,

Now the full moon all shadows has stolen,

Amongst fir trees the pathway vanishes;

Here you wait, seductive winter snow queen,

Where all trails melt, your sign stands evergreen.


© Christopher Haley Simpson 2009
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without the authors prior permission