"David Garrick as Richard II" by William Hogarth‘A Shakespeare Reverie’ by James A. Tweedie The Society June 26, 2017 Culture, Humor, Poetry, Shakespeare 6 Comments Inspired by the Ashland, Oregon, Shakespeare Festival Narrator: William Shakespeare—Shakspere? Shaksper? Shakespear? Shackespeare? Shake-and-Bake-speare?—died but did not Go to heaven. Sent instead to town called Ashland where, in purgatorial shame, Was forced to spend eternity in watching Every play that bore his name replayed, Replayed and played again in time-looped glory; Mobius-stripped like Groudhog Day in never- Ending parody of all including Both inspired, banal, blank verse and prose. A centered seat in carbon-copied Globe Required the Bard to witness New Age, Avant- Garde and “cutting edge” directors mangle Syntax, mispronounce and reinterpret Lear in inner city slum, The Tempest Lost in inter-stellar space and Hamlet In a Giorgio Armani suit. Ere fourscore years had passed he’d had enough. The Bard: “Th’ unkindest cut of all. prithee, forsooth, Gadzooks and . . . well . . . I now must tell the truth. I can no longer bear the lie. No doubt The truth will come to light; The truth will out. My pound of flesh is yours, I bare my breast, My lean and hungry shame is now confessed. I did not write all that before you see. T’is others who deserve the praise, not me. Such men as Bacon, Marlowe, and de Vere, Far better than the Bard of Avon, were. Each one, in turn, with feigned humility Ascribed to me their works of tragedy Or comedy as case may be. The most Pathetic of the lot (it is no boast) Were penned by me who could not even script A decent epitaph for my own crypt. Andronicus is mine, of course, and e’en Is Pericles, Timon and Cymbeline.” Narrator: With conscience cleared at last he breathed a sigh And said that now he hoped that he could die A second time and thus reach heaven where He ne’er again would gain the praise or share What’s rightly owed to greater men than he. Thus Ashland taught him true humility. The Bard: “Kind friends, no more debate my misspelled name. Just call me Will, or Bill, it’s all the same” Narrator: With this he passed away, his sins confessed; And flights of angels took him to his rest. Jim Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-publilshed four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers. He was delighted when one of his daughters gave him a copy of William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back. He says that given the choice, he prefers to be an optimist. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Kathy F. June 26, 2017 Very clever! I really enjoyed reading this! Reply Amy Foreman June 26, 2017 Chuckling now–thanks! And, given the choice, I also prefer to be an optimist. 🙂 Reply David Hollywood June 26, 2017 Maybe! Marvelous originality and presentation and cleverness, and for which I say well done and thank you for the arrangement. However, I am more inclined to sense that everything is of a time, and just like the rest of what we learn and inherit and have repeated to us, we are pleased it is there, and appreciate that we have consequently gained another layer that we are glad of – even when it is said and interpreted and mentioned countless times, and more especially, when it might be our own works and efforts. But then maybe the fault is with me, because I still appreciated your poems and direction and creative thoughts. Thank you. Reply Hibah Shabkhez June 28, 2017 Splendid stuff, this. Reply Sultana July 3, 2017 Clever and funny at the same time! Reply Sultana July 3, 2017 Clever concepts and funny words at the same time! 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