Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Mistress' Eyes (Kinetic Shakespeare)

I've recently been learning how to create kinetic typography using Adobe CS5 After Effects (see this video of my wife singing "Mad World," for example). Today, I thought I'd apply these tools to one of Shakespeare's more famous sonnets, #130. Shakespeare was imitating yet defying the Petrarchan tradition. Maybe that's what I'm doing with the Shakespearean tradition. What do you think?

Sonnet 130
by William Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks; 
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare. 


  1. Very cool. You know, if you are serious about imitating yet defying the Shakespearean tradition you are going to have to find a way to take these sonnets over to Twitter at some point. Sonnet Tweets?