Play Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
     And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
     As any she belied with false compare.



In Sonnet 130, the poet mocks the conventions of the showy and flowery courtly sonnets in its realistic portrayal of his mistress.

Will decided to have a bit of fun with this one, comparing all of his lady’s parts to beautiful objects like the sun, coral, snow and roses, and finding he likes the objects better. He even compares her hair to wires (???). While some poets would call a woman’s voice music or her walk that of a deity, Will his far more of a realist. He loves music separately from her conversation, and knows she walks here among mortals. But! This does not mean he doesn’t love her, only that his comparisons of her are not false, like the other guys’ poems.


Will’s Wordplay

Comparisons like those in this sonnet, to nature and flowers and music, were a bit of a trend when Willy wrote this. His audience would have recognized them immediately. Sort of like how pop songs all sound the same?


Scholar’s Corner

“This sonnet plays with poetic conventions in which, for example, the mistress’s eyes are compared with the sun, her lips with coral, and her cheeks with roses. His mistress, says the poet, is nothing like this conventional image, but is as lovely as any woman”.[1] Here, Barbara Mowat offers her opinion of the meaning behind Sonnet 130; this work breaks the mold to which Sonnets had come to conform. Shakespeare composed a sonnet which seems to parody a great many sonnets of the time. Poets like Thomas Watson, Michael Drayton, and Barnabe Barnes were all part of this sonnet craze and each wrote sonnets proclaiming love for an almost unimaginable figure;[2] Patrick Crutwell posits that Sonnet 130 could actually be a satire of the Thomas Watson poem “Passionate Century of Love”, pointing out that the Watson poem contains all but one of the platitudes that Shakespeare is making fun of in Sonnet 130.[3] However, E.G. Rogers points out the similarities between Watson’s “Passionate Century of Love,” Sonnet 130, and Richard Linche’s Poem collection entitled “Diella.”[4] There is a great deal of similarity between sections of the Diella poem collection and Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130”, for example in “130” we see, “If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head,” where in “Diella” we see “Her hayre exceeds fold forced in the smallest wire.” Each work uses a comparison of hairs to wires; while in modern sense this may seem unflattering, one could argue that Linche’s work draws upon the beauty of weaving gold and that Shakespeare mocks this with harsh comparison. This, along with other similarities in textual content, lead, as E.G. Rodgers points out, the critic to believe that Diella may have been the source of inspiration for both homage, by Watson’s “Passionate Century of Love,” and satire by Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130.” The idea of Satire is further enforced by final couplet of “130” in which the speaker delivers his most expositional line: “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare, as any she belied with false compare.” This line projects the message behind this work, demeaning the false comparisons made by many poets of the time.[5]


The Falconer, W 72nd St Central Park

“This elegant bronze statue is the work of British sculptor George Blackall Simonds (1844-1929). Born in Reading, England, Simonds’s family had a partnership in the prosperous brewery, Simonds and Courage. He attended Saint Andrew’s College (later Bradfield College), and, demonstrating early promise as a sculptor, studied art in Dresden, Germany, and Brussels, Belgium, before residing for 12 years in Rome, Italy.

While in Italy, Simonds learned much about the tradition of lost-wax bronze casting. Simonds’s The Falconer statue, cast by Clemente Papi (1802-1875), a founder in Florence, Italy, weds several of his interests. The statue depicts a young falconer in Elizabethan garb, holding aloft a falcon poised for release. It is installed on a cylindrical granite pedestal perched on a natural rock outcropping south of the 72nd Street transverse road, and east of the park’s West Drive.

Simonds himself was an avid falconer, and was later depicted with a falcon in an official portrait made of him as chairman of the family brewery by Sir Oswald Brimley. The original sculpture of The Falconer was created for Trieste, Italy, and was shown at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1875. It appears that George Kemp (1826-1893), a wealthy merchant born in Ireland, who later lived in New York City, admired the sculpture so much that he commissioned a full-scale replica for Central Park, where it was dedicated on May 31, 1875.

A second casting of The Falconer stands today in Lynch Park in Beverly, Massachusetts, reportedly a gift of Robert Evans, a Beverly native who had admired the sculpture while convalescing in a hospital near Central Park, and subsequently received permission to make a bronze replica.

Since its installation, The Falconer has suffered extensive damage from weathering and vandals. The monument was in danger of toppling in 1937 until it was shored up and repainted by Parks. In 1957, a new bronze falcon was fashioned and reattached. Further vandalism later compelled the City to remove the sculpture to storage for safekeeping, and in 1982, a new arm and falcon were modeled, cast, and reattached, and the statue reset in Central Park. In 1995, the Central Park Conservancy conserved and repatined the statue, and today the sculpture embodies the rich sculptural collection Central Park inherited in the 19th century, as well as the abundant bird species, including peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks, which populate the park.” [1]





ACTOR – Cliff Saunders

Cliff Saunders has received critical acclaim for his current portrayal of “Thenardier” in the new Broadway production of Les Miserables. He also co-starred in the critically-acclaimed, Tony Award®-nominated hit The 39 Steps (Roundabout Theatre, Cort Theatre and Huntington Theatre in Boston) (IRNE Award -Best Supporting Actor). Other theater credits include – Spamalot (Citadel Theatre), The Real World? (Tarragon), Lord of the Rings, Beauty and The Beast (Princess of Wales Theatre), two seasons at the Stratford Festival, as well as working at Soulpepper, Canstage, Elgin, Winter Garden, The Grand, Aquarius, Royal Alexandra, YPT, Crows Videocab, Blythe and many more. Film and TV credits include – Louis Cyr, Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, Cracked, Outlander, Please Kill Mr Know It All, Roxy Hunter, Open Range, Midwives, Joan of Arc, Monk and Ron James Show, to name just a few.


FEATURING – Bryan Fitzgerald

Bryan wrote, produced and starred in “Under Water,” which hits festivals next Spring ( Credits include off-Broadway in “The Bus” (NYC & Kansas, 2011); “Law & Order” (CBS), and award-winning shorts “Hypebeasts“, “Pablo on Wheels“, and “Out of the Ash” (Scotland, UK).


DIRECTOR – Ryan Blackwell

I love storytelling and everything that goes into it – and I’ll be a part of it in whatever way I can. Sometimes that means acting, sometimes writing, editing, or visual effects artist… ing. I’m happy, now, to once again be directing with the fine people of the Sonnet Project.


SECOND CAMERA – Jason Whitaker

Jason Whitaker is a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s Film Production program, is a freelance Director of Photography, Videographer, and Editor. His varied film and video production work has taken him to Nickelodeon and Syfy channel movie shoots in British Columbia, the sets of All My Children and One Life to Live in Stamford, CT, and corporate video shoots for many well known brands. He also has spent many summers teaching video production to kids at Creative Summer at the Mead School in Stamford, CT. Having completed his duties as Director of Photography on the first season of the comedy web series With Friends Like These, he is now the Director of photography for the new comedy web series Gemma and the Bear currently in production. His camera reel and film resume can be found on his website at


TEXT COACH – Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan Broadway: Waiting for Godot (u/s Pozzo/Lucky), No Man’s Land (u/s Briggs/Foster) New York: Macbeth (Macbeth), Othello (Iago), This Lime Tree Bower (Frank), Bill & Lenny (Shatner), Protest (Staněk), Troilus & Cressida (Achilles), Brecht on Brecht. Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley), The Malcontent (Malevole), Pride & Prejudice (Wickham), Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (Gaston), US Premiere of A Laughing Matter (David Garrick), She Stoops to Conquer (Tony Lumpkin), Complete Works…(Abridged), The Winter’s Tale (Autolycus), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio/Capulet), Twelfth Night (Orsino). MFA from The Academy for Classical Acting. Colin lives in Hoboken with his wife, Elizabeth, and a large brown bear.