Play Sonnet 67

Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggared of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
     O! him she stores, to show what wealth she had
     In days long since, before these last so bad.



Sonnet 67 questions why Nature allows false things to mimic the beloved’s beauty and goodness, and how the beloved can even remain alive in such a den of sin as this world.

Bill wonder why the for whom he has such affection lives in such moral corruption. The youth graces to the sins of those around him, and sin looks better for it. Why do others anoint themselves with makeup to imitate the beauties he has naturally? They become false roses when he himself is a true bloom. Why should this young man himself live, now that Nature itself has used up all the power to create beautiful things in creating him? Nature preserves him in order to show what she was capable of long ago, before everyone else went to hell.

Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet is unique in that the youth has becomes the distant ‘he’, rather than ‘dear my love’ etc. It comes almost as a shock, as if you were suddenly to start addressing your partner as “himself”.


Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the Bronx

Perhaps you’ll hear a croak of “nevermore” at Poe Cottage…

The Poe family—which included Edgar, his wife Virginia Clemm, and her mother Maria—moved in around May 1846 after living for a short time in Turtle Bay, Manhattan. At the time, Fordham was rural and was only recently connected to the city by rail. The cottage, which then on Kingsbridge Road to the east of its intersection with Valentine Avenue, was small and simple: it had on its first floor a sitting room and kitchen and its unheated second floor had a bedroom and Poe’s study. The home sat on 2 acres of land.

The family seemed to enjoy the home, despite its small size and minimal furnishings. “The cottage is very humble”, a visitor said, “you wouldn’t have thought decent people could have lived in it; but there was an air of refinement about everything.”[1] A friend of Poe’s years later wrote: “The cottage had an air of taste and gentility… So neat, so poor, so unfurnished, and yet so charming a dwelling I never saw.”[2] In a letter to a friend, Poe himself wrote: “The place is a beautiful one.”[3] Maria wrote years later: “It was the sweetest little cottage imaginable. Oh, how supremely happy we were in our dear cottage home!”[4] Poe’s final short story, “Landor’s Cottage”, was likely inspired by the home.

“Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in The Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island. It was a bucolic setting in which the great writer penned many of his most enduring poetical works, including ‘Annabel Lee,’ ‘The Bells’ and ‘Eureka.’

Poe spent much of his life moving from place to place in restless search of literary recognition and financial security. In April 1844, he and his wife, Virginia, and mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, moved to New York, where Poe sought the opportunity for international acclaim. But Virginia was ill, and in early summer of 1846 Poe brought her to The Bronx, where he hoped the country air would rescue her failing health. However, in January of 1847, she died of tuberculosis. Poe himself died two years later, under mysterious circumstances, in Baltimore, MD.

Administered by The Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, the cottage is restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings. A film presentation and guided tour help bring Poe Cottage to life. Visitors can see the bed in which Virginia died and the rocking chair Poe used. In the kitchen, the dishes on the table appear as if the great author had just stepped out for air.” [5]



1 .Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar Allan Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991: 302. ISBN 0-06-092331-8
2. Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998: 508–509. ISBN 0-8018-5730-9.
3. Phillips, Mary E. Edgar Allan Poe: The Man. Volume II. Chicago: The John C. Winston Co., 1926: 1115.
4. Phillips, 1116–1117.


ACTOR – Leigh Williams

Leigh Williams has been working with New York Shakespeare Exchange since 2010. She played Constance in the company’s acclaimed production of The Life and Death of King John and Asnath in Kevin Brewer’s ingenious Shakespearean homage Island. She’s also participated in several of the company’s readings and ShakesBEER pub crawls. Leigh has been acting in the Bard’s plays for 18 years, and some favorite roles have been Hermione, Adriana, Kate, Ariel and Olivia. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, SAG and AFTRA and received her M.F.A. at Case Western/Cleveland Play House.


DIRECTOR – Russ Senzatimore

Russ Senzatimore has worked as an assistant editor on American and European feature films for the past fourteen years, providing an invaluable education on the road to becoming a filmmaker. His varied filmography includes work done at the studio and independent level.

He has assisted Madonna on “W.E.“, “The MDNA Tour“, and “Secret Project“, Robert Benton on “The Human Stain“, Rebecca Miller on “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee“, and Milcho Manchevski on “Senki“.

As a filmmaker, Senzatimore has seen success with numerous short films. “We Follow The Rules“, concerning the treatment of an ostracized police officer following a fatal shooting, was screened at the Orlando Film Festival in 2010. A story of two lovers separated by many years, “Isabella“, won the Best Short Film – 16mm award at the 2004 Long Island International Film Expo. In 2012, he served as a cinematographer on “Best Friend / Interlude“, a back screen projection video which was seen internationally as part of Madonna’s MDNA Tour.

His latest project is “Pastor Paul“, a 35mm black and white drama, due for release in 2014.