The last time I read Shakespeare,
I was a different person,
And yet that was just two weeks ago.
But the act of reading, changes you,
And the act of living, and dying, changes
And sometimes, two weeks
Is a lifetime and still
Not long enough.
I’d like to return to the hope
Of two weeks ago
The same way I can
Return to Shakespeare.
(PAD challenge prompt for April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday, is “Last_____”)
Today I made up one of the days that I missed while I was sick. Saturday’s prompt was across the sea. As an English teacher and a woman who has a sister who has lived in England for many years, naturally that is where my thoughts flowed.
Across the Sea
Wistfully thinking of trips gone by,
Austen’s Chawton, Shakespeare’s Statford,
And London teems in my memory
The history, literature, fashion, and culture.
And a way that wends
To Chaucer’s Canterbury and Becket’s shrine.
Or head north to Cambridge:
A city that sparks with scholarship,
Rides green with bicycles, laughs heartily at pubs,
Strolls cheerfully toward Grantchester, for tea.
Further on is the Lake District, with rolling hills,
Limpid lakes, Wordsworth’s daffodils.
And there is Arthur’s Cornwall yet to be seen,
And the White Cliff’s of Dover, and Rye, and
Music’s home in Liverpool, and the Bronte’s
Yorkshire, and more, so much more.
But most of all, there’s family, calling me over,
Across the sea
Yes, I’ve missed a few days, I know. I have been sick with bronchitis. But I pick up today with today’s prompt, take a word or two that was coined by Shakespeare, use it as the title of your poem, and go. I went a little bit farther than that as I sprinkled Shakespeare’s words throughout the poem. Can you find them?
As for the days I missed, I will do my best to make them up before the week (and the month) are over! Now, here’s to Shakespeare:
Ode to Shakespeare’s Words
I bet you can’t help but complete
This task; whether in premeditated swagger,
Or vaulting language, Shakespeare’s words
Cannot be avoided. What can I
A lowly poet, a blushing amateur add
To such a lexicon? Turn your eyeballs to
His fashionable gossip and find labels
To items and ideas as lackluster as skim milk,
As laughable as madcap, as lustrous as Olympian.
Such a majestic genius could dishearten and
Deafen later generations, yet instead his works
Continue to create amazement. Academe cannot help
But secure exposure to his genius and
Inspire countless generations to
And a select few
To monumental heights.
To monumental heights.