Come Kiss Me Sweet and Twenty

taking-down-christmas-tree-deOur decorations are finally down and this morning the last of the holiday treats were packed up. My husband took them to work for  other people to eat. Chances are they won’t want them either! 

Speaking of endings, today marks Twelfth Night.  Twelfth Night is the last part of that twelve days of Christmas celebration presided over by the Lord of Misrule. Remember him? He popped up in my Saturnalia post mid-December. Yes, if we were being authentic, this Ancient Roman celebration would have continued on until today.  Personally, I’ve had enough merriment for a while. For me it’s time to settle into the deep stillness of winter and write. I’ll come out of my mind cave when the seed catalogs arrive… in March.

You can’t talk Twelfth Night and not have William Shakespeare come to mind. I’ve mentioned before that I am a fan of the Bard. I was immersed in Shakespeare my freshman year in high school due to the fact the spelling of my last name dictated where I sat in English class for ten long months. I’ve always been a quick reader and so often had the luxury of extra time in class.  Right beside my desk was a miniature replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and a glorious stack of Shakespeare plays that I could read while waiting for the bell to ring.

What I loved about the Bard was the way he seduced the mind with words. By that I mean most of what he wrote was lyrical.   The style he wrote in  is called blank verse. It uses a poetic measure of lines consisting of unrhymed iambic pentameter. In case you’ve forgotten your high school lessons, iambic pentameter reads like this line from Romeo and Juliet:

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

Generally, when you read Shakespeare as originally written, the inflection has a high/low beat to it. Try saying the line above with this rhythmic inflection.
da Dum da Dum da Dum da Dum da Dum

  🙂 You might say his prose had a pulse. 

His play Twelfth Night has some marvelously evocative sentences. Here are a few of my favorite lines ~

  • If music be the food of love, play on.
  • In delay there lies no plenty, then come kiss me sweet and twenty.
  • Still you keep o’ the windy side of the law.
  • He does smile his face into more lines than is in the new map with the augmentation of the Indies.
  • Out of the jaws of death.
  • But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Fantastic stuff, no? That’s what I mean by seduce the mind.  🙂

To get the full feel, put your feet up and immerse yourself in this lengthy version of Twelfth Night. It’s directed by Kenneth Branagh, himself an accomplished Shakespearean actor. Even if you only watch the first 10 minutes or so, you’ll pick up on the da Dum da Dum da Dum of the iambic pentameter right away.

It’s time to make your King Cake. What about the Queen of the Bean? Here’s a terrific post from Author Julianne Douglas, Renaissance writer.

An interesting 4-part historical series about the long celebration with a decent glimpse of the Twelfth Night festivities during the Tudor period.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Part 4


RB4U purpleI blog the4th of every month at Romance Books ‘4’ Us. My post is still up this week. It’s about an unusual hobby that led to reading tea leaves. Come see!

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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12 Responses to Come Kiss Me Sweet and Twenty

  1. rosgemmell says:

    I love Twelfth Night and all its connotations (even wrote a Victorian mystery and romance novella set then). I gave in and took my decorations down yesterday – first time I haven’t waited until the correct day but wanted to start today, Monday, afresh!

  2. Calisa Rhose says:

    Haha I love the line about smiles and maps. Wonderful wording! Hubby told me it’s time to take down the tree today. Hmm I haven’t decided if I agree yet. Christmas is MY time. I love everything about it and this magical season. My mom said once it was my due birthdate, but I was three days late so celebrate on the 28th instead. lol It’s always a sad day for me when we have to take everything and pack it away for another year. But, I suppose I must. 🙂

    • I love this time of year too but the actual holiday with decorations can’t linger or they make me terribly sad. I used to pack it all up the day after Christmas. Two holidays back to back had me drop the habit. The first was emergency surgery for my son and the following year my dad passed. I still get a bit sad so it all gets packed up by January 2nd. This year I ran late. 🙂

  3. treknray says:

    In Spain in either Cartagena or Tarragona, I forget which, there was a parade complete with Roman Soldiers, Chariots, Floats and buses loaded with senior citizens leading to the orphanages to give presents to orphans and underprivileged children on this night one of my last trips to the Mediterranean.

    • The day is very big in Spain — the Procession of the Magi. I don’t quite get the Roman soldiers in attendance because they didn’t exactly have a nice role after the Epiphany. How wonderful the elders bring gifts to the orphans. People are capable of such good.

  4. You are quoting from one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

  5. mikey2ct says:

    With the latest arctic air having moved in, today is a a great day to start staying in and snuggling up Writing, reading or whatever..

  6. melissakeir says:

    Kenneth Branagh is a fabulous Shakespearean actor. Everything he does is gold. 🙂 I’m done being cold though and can skip ahead to spring. 🙂

    • We’re in the grip of the arctic blast by me. I’m about ready for spring too. Winter just ended a few months ago. I had a mountain of snow in my driveway in April. 😦 Blah.

      Yes, he’s a great Shakespearean actor. 🙂

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