"David Garrick as Richard II" by William Hogarth‘A Shakespeare Reverie’ by James A. Tweedie The Society June 26, 2017 Culture, Humor, Poetry 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 He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.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. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 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! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.