#ASonnetADay – 43. “When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see…” Chiasmus party!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Comment

  1. Andreas says:

    Father Z., Your pointing out the meaning of the term ‘wink’ here, made me curious as to its origins and uses. It appears that Shakespeare employed the term ‘wink’ with regard to the closing of one’s eyes and sleep in several works. However, I also found that wink referred but to a very brief sleep as early as the 14th century when, in his ‘Handlyng synne’ (1303), Robert Manning of Brunne wrote, “Ne mete ete, ne drank drynke, Ne slepte onely a-lepy wynke” (ref.: https://www.phrases. org.uk/meanings/191300.html). This Middle English usage may also suggest that the term ‘wink’ for a certain period of sleep might have even earlier origins.

    Father Z. also noted that Benjamin Britten set this sonnet to music. An historic recording of this work with Peter Pears beautifully performing the Tenor solo can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_T7ZwMbJQ. Though there are recordings of higher quality, it is here that the composer himself is conducting his work.

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