Chronicle of Wasted Time, Shakespeare

Shakespeare, clock and chronicles of wasted time“When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see description of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme…  

Tips for Use.   ‘Chronicles of Wasted Time’ has filtered into the English language as another expression used without reference to the source. Malcom Muggeridge, for example, so titled his very readable and instructive auto-biography.. ‘Chronicle of wasted time’ can become a modest (if true) and humorous self-effacing statement about (at least parts of) your life. Who can claim of not having wasted time?…
Possible preamble when you are asked to describe yourself in an interview, especially if you can demonstrate that you have really NOT wasted your time. It buys some insurance about not going overboard in describing your achievements.
‘Wight’, means ‘creature’, in this context the ‘fairest wights’ are medieval knights, the counterpart of the ladies. As we all know there is a strong undercurrent of pessimism in Shakespeare’s philosophy (if such can be called). From ‘out out brief candle’ to the ‘quintessence of dust’ to the useless search of a man who is not ‘passion’s slave’ and so on. The sadness of life made elegant by words. Even here in this sonnet that, after all is a romantic reminder that even the most beautiful specimens of medieval beauty were but representative precursors of the beauty to whom the sonnet is dedicated. And let’s not question whether it is a man or a woman. I like to think it was a woman, anyway. You can combine extracts from the sonnet to create your own text for a card, e.g. “beauty making beautiful old rhyme’, ‘antique pen’, ‘such beauty as you master now’, ‘praises are but prophesies’ etc. Let ‘your imagination body forth the form of things unknown’… Whatever may be the end result it will be better of the soapy lines found on sundry pre-printed commercial cards.
Here is the complete sonnet 106,

“When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see description of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights,
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed,
Even such beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophesies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring.”

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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extreme extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.

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