PLAY Sonnet 60
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
Sonnet 60 is an exploration of mortality, with strong metaphors for and personifications of Time, and a belief in the immortality of words.
Shakespeare compares the movement of time to the waves moving toward the pebbled shore, each moment striving to move forward. Everything that has been born, though it existed in the world before birth, crawls into maturity, where it faces cruel obstacles to its glory. Time is both a giver of gifts and a destroyer, piercing the beauty of youth, aging it. It devours the beauty in nature; nothing escapes it. But Shakespeare knows the power of words, that his verses will last into the future, continuing to praise the young man’’s worth despite mortality.
The imagery of “minutes hastening to their end” calls to mind the disappearance and dissipation of each wave as it beats on the shore. The sea as such is not an obvious simile of human life, as it continues almost forever, whereas our life so patently has an ending. But the individual waves mimic the disappearance of the minutes. The sonnet seems to be placed deliberately at this point, as number 60, to coincide with the 60 minutes of the hour.
“crawl” is both as a baby and suggestive of slowness. Youth seems to last forever until it is gone. And again, the slow crawl in advanced age.
An eclipse was considered to be a dangerous event. Reversals of fortune could be attributed to their influence. “Eclipses” here has a general meaning of blight, ill fortune, or setbacks
Seaford and The Seven Sisters cliffs, East Sussex, United Kingdom
During the First and Second World Wars there were large military camps in the town. In the First World War the camps were built to house 22nd Division, Kitchener’s Third New Army. The south camp nearly encircled Seaford ladies college. In December 1914 there was a strike by a mainly Welsh regiment over the remoteness of the accommodation and mud. In 1919 two thousand Canadians rioted after one of them was beaten by a camp picket for walking with his hands in his pockets.
The Romans are known to have had a camp in Seaford. From 1794 coastal defence barracks were established at East Blatchington. In 1806–1808 a Martello Tower was built at the eastern end of Seaford Bay. It is the most westerly of the towers, numbered tower 74.
Seaford has seven Victoria Cross holders associated with the town (Victoria Cross being the highest award of the UK honours system):
– William George Walker – Lived and died in Seaford
– Cuthbert Bromley – Lived in Seaford
– William Frederick McFadzean – Trained at the North Camp, Seaford
– Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes – Attended Kings Mead School, Seaford
– David Auldjo Jamieson – Attended Ladycross School, Seaford
– Claud Raymond – Lived in Seaford
– H. Jones – Attended St Peter’s School, Seaford
And another curious fact:
Clementine Churchill, wife of British prime minister Winston Churchill, lived in Seaford.
Seaford Museum is housed in Martello Tower number 74 and is situated on the Esplanade in Seaford, East Sussex. The Tower is the most westerly of a line of defensive fortifications built along the Kent and Sussex coast during the Napoleonic Wars. The Tower is a round two-storey structure surrounded by a dry, brick-lined moat. It was constructed between 1806 and 1810.
ACTOR – Michael Elles
Mike Elles is an experienced actor of the stage and screen, from performances in television such as Doctor Who, Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary and Z-Cars to stage performances in Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and Aladdin to films including After Work, (winner of Best Actor at the Leicester International Film Festival) Monomania and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
DIRECTOR – Ben Vokes
Ben Vokes continues to earn a living working on feature films as a crew member in various departments, most recently Doctor Strange (Marvel 2016), Beauty and the Beast (Disney 2017). In the time between these paid contracts he is an indie filmmaker financing and directing his own short films. He is a passionate filmmaker who enjoys the art and cultural importance of film, it’s challenges, and the different creative aspects involved. He is a director who believes there are so many more stories we can enjoy or learn from (or be re-told from another perspective), so many more diverse characters, experiences, situations and emotions out there to be understood and brought into our lives.