David Gilmour records a setting of the famous sonnet
– the one about comparing thee – afloat upon a river.
It starts with an octave leap, then down a semitone-and-tone:
eight and six; octave, sestet – clever, but not Shakespeare.
The tune is like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but slightly jumbled
and with an insistent shift to the relative minor, though not as often
as I remember when I play it back inside my head.
There’s no guitar and the reverb is excessive, but I listen
obsessively all day; at the end of the day, I don’t remember
the middle of the sonnet or the melody in order.
And thee is nondescript and impersonal and intimate,
and language is transcendent only up to a given point.
An ageing rocker is singing on a boat upon a river
and thou art gone as unused grammar in the mouths of lovers.