“O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t!”
-Miranda, from “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare
This past weekend, I accepted the role of Chief Technology Officer for BraveNewTalent, a social recruitment startup based in London. At the David Allen Company, I have been using technology to help bring the GTD® methodology to millions of people worldwide, freeing them up from organizing tasks in their head so that they can focus on doing their best work in any context. BraveNewTalent seeks to help the workforce of the twenty-first century find, not only ideal new workplace contexts, but the relationships and aptitudes that will unleash the best work of an entire upcoming generation.
Led by visionary young entrepreneur Lucian Tarnowski, the company has already assembled a fine team and is rapidly accumulating blue-chip clients and media attention. It is an exciting time to be bridging the gap between baby boomers in corporate leadership and an inherently digital generation, who hold the promise of a new way to work. Doubly exciting is the opportunity to join not only a well-positioned startup in a high-potential emerging marketplace, but to do so in London — which is itself emerging from the ashes of the financial meltdown as a technology innovation powerhouse.
I am looking forward to doing interesting and meaningful work, with talented people, in one of the greatest cities in the world.
We sheltered in John Keats’s house this afternoon. (“Hampstead isn’t far; we won’t need our rain wear!”) Poignant, to see the couch on which he retired, the view he contemplated, toward the end of his short life. More fodder for my thinking on poetic tradition: apparently he wrote poems in the pages of his Complete Works of Shakespeare as well as Milton’s Paradise Lost. Talk about responding when the inspiration strikes… Afterward, I barely managed to roll back through The Heath after a phenomenal Indian food meal on the high street. No doubt ghee is now seeping from my pores. And on that note, I’m off to write some gritty laments on the back pages of the Larry Levis book I brought along.
That is the comment someone left on one of my posts about Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29. Their IP address came from Panama. Based on the email address (amigas por siempre), the commenter is likely young and female — probably a student.
You see, posts I made about Shakespeare or Wallace Stevens are placing high in Google searches. And these days, a remarkable number of students use Google as a means to gather materials for English essays. In fact, a lot of them simply plagiarize what they find. Cut. Paste. Grade.
Read the poem
What is so great about this poem is that it makes excellent use of the momentum of the English sonnet form, culminating in a beautiful pair of lines that simultaneously do and do not make sense: