An Odd Sample of Poetry

I had intended to on occasion submit a bit of poetry to this site.  I do enjoy writing poetry, yet I have little faith in my poetic talent.   I have a goal, that sadly may be well beyond my skill to write.  But then this tale has too many good parts to pass on.  I do have fair faith in my ability to sculpt a plot.  Doing it justice in the telling however is another thing entirely.

So to start my presentation boldly, I will embarrass my self by presenting a selection from a book I am writing quite slowly, ‘The Other Works of William Shakespeare.’

It was a feast day and in the market square William stood by a box taller than him draped with painted scenes on fabric. At the top of the box was a window. Inside this window were two small figures. A small child was trying to drag her much older brother to where the children were gathered before Shakespeare.

“The puppets,” She wined, louder than Shakespeare’s speech. “I want to see the puppets!”

Shakespeare said, “What say you, Princess?” and put his ear next to the princess puppet. Then he shaded his eyes with his hand and peered about the market. “In Truth, Princess Mollycoddle, I see no more puppets than thee.” Then he asked the children, “Prithe gentle children, have you seen puppets about? Princess Mollycoddle loves puppets dearly and her wish is to see them as well.”

The knight puppet gestured for Shakespeare’s ear as the children roared that Princess Mollycoddle was a puppet. The boy and his sister joined the crowd as Shakespeare listened to the nodding knight.

“Oh,” Shakespeare said, “She was saying ‘poppets’ and means these very children gathered here where they are staring so rudely at the knight and the princess. That seems silly, a poppet wanting to see a poppets when she is a poppet.”

The children protested that the knight and princess were the puppets as a few of the parents moved closer, entertained by this odd show.

Shakespeare continued with his story in a low conspiratorial tone, “The Princess confides with Sir Gimmly of Wobblelance. She doth tell that the kingdom lies in danger dread. In days dim past the only dragon here had asunder torn village and peace. Now with his cousin come to stay and supp, for each fat man eaten, a thin one is also chewed.”

“The knight bowed to the princess. ’I will pursue these dragons and explain their folly, sword in hand.’”

The knight left as the princess clasped her hand over her heart watching him go. “Wobblelance boldly searched the village through, looking for any tale of the dragon.”

The knight approached a dragon puppet with an apron and a bakers hat. “Good baker have you a dragon seen? The knight asked.”

“The baker’s the dragon!” A child yelled.

Shakespeare turned to the boy and said, “Interrupt not the Knight, He is in search of a dragon cruel.”

The dragon puppet turned to face the child and quickly shook his head at him.

All the children started shouting, “The baker’s the dragon.”

Shakespeare continued, “Since there was noise to loud for the knight to hear the baker, the knight continued on searching the village.”

As the knight left the stage the dragon popped down and then came back up wearing a cloak. The knight came back on the stage and approached the dragon in the cloak.

“Good man, Sir Gimmly cried, ‘Where is one who has this dragon seen!’”

‘By my belly, I swear there was such a man but a moment ago here, but now I can spy him not. Said the good villager.”

Shakespeare continued weaving the story drawing more children and parents into the crowd before him. As it looked like everyone in the village was now a dragon, Shakespeare brought out a balance and announced, “Now we must decide by weight of pence, whether we have a happy ending with a marriage, or a more tragic one where by inevitable sorrow reins.” The adults present were now mobbed for coins by their children. The younger children and the girls put coins in the happy pan. The older boys put a few coins the tragic side until it became clear that the happy side was winning.

As the donations slowed, I approached the scales and started adding coins until they were balanced, although I could not quite achieve a perfect balance and it leaned a bit toward tragedy.

Shakespeare shook his head. “Lord I must ask, why you trouble me in such a generous way?”

“I would have a mixture of both as in truth happens.” I would further have the delivery in poem as prose is much to simple by far.”

“A request by a noble lord was made, now I must compose anew. Please pardon if this puppet parade, is now quite far driven askew.”

I interrupted as Shakespeare considered his next line. “Sadly, gentle player I must challenge you more, to give rhyme and to meter not ignore. I would have you show your true worth therefore, to compose an ending farther from poor.” With that I tossed a crown into a pan more than doubling my previous donation.

Shakespeare pulled up his sleeves. “Now it appears my sleeves myself must pull, to give lesson fair in good poetry. I hope the puppet master is no fool, and will follow closely my new story.

Sadly now the pan of tragedy side, is tilting fully more than good used too. But balance still must this time override, this story that I will impart to you.”

Shakespeare tapped on the box and continued. “Good Sir Gimmly was then loath to return, but he had not found any dragon here. But he had to warn the village might burn and the kingdom fair still had much to fear.”

The knight puppet bowed over shaking his head and crossed the stage.

“He was greeted by the princess he thought, and with sorrow told of his great failure.”

The dragon appeared with the Princesses hat on and the Knight approached and bowed before her.

“He said since he had not found what he ought, clearly his quest and his heart were not pure. The princess I do think, did not seem sad, but flirted there with the knight Wobblelance. In marriage her hand he then asked and had, but noticed something with their first dance.”

The puppets went down and then awkwardly a priest puppet came up with both the Knight and the Princess. Then they all went down and the princess and the knight came up and started sweeping through a dance.

“Your skin is much tougher than I did think, Your hand is so large and your breath does stink.”

The dragon puppet pulled back shaking with rage.

“But I did vow that my love would be true, so never will I be unkind to you.”

The puppets embraced.

Shakespeare bowed and the curtains closed on the boxes’ window. “Thank you for watching our small entertainment.”


5 comments to An Odd Sample of Poetry

  • Skip J.

    Oh my, shades of the S.C.A……

    Well done!

    My compliments!


  • You are quite kind, Skip. With such encouragement, I think I will further step out on a limb and do weekly installments of my research on Shakespeare or the tale I am working on. The concept is fairly simple, Shakespeare as a secret agent. Before you laugh to terribly hard, keep in mind that half the people he knew and hung out with were indeed covertly spys or agents of the throne.

    It is my intent to exaggerate that possibility to the extreme, but there is a reasonable body of evidence that he was closely involved in several fairly interesting events.


  • Andyman

    Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed the tale, and will look forward to future installments. 🙂


  • Skip J.

    Oh yeah…. keep’em coming….. One of the very few professions I would have liked to persue in life would be to (be) a fiction writer. The issue with that is (that) as I get old enough to contemplate having some time for that in the near future; the commercial writing I’ve had to do for my actual profession is too “realistic” for fiction. I know what I would like to say, but it just won’t come off of my fingertips – because they have been trained over time to “know” what is correct, and fiction ain’t it….

    While fiction stories with Shakespeare as a character have been done, I do believe you have hit upon a new and fresh direction. See -I can “talk” 90 miles a minute, but composing new material escapes me….


  • Thanks, Skip and Andy, for such encouragement. I will start making it a regular installment then!


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