Today’s poem is a homage to Bill by way of Henry VIII. It’s a Golden Shovel of “Orpheus with his lute” a 12 line poem/song in Henry VIII. Many/Mosyt scholars believe this play was a collaborative effort between Bill & John Fletcher, & I’m inclined to agree with them because it’s never felt like “Shakespeare” to me.
I’ve chosen it because: well Orpheus … & I have Golden Shoveled the last words of each line, juggled them & turned it into a sonnet. Not a great sonnet, mind you, but one with a passing resemblance to a snout. Unlike the ones from the 19th which were all AI generated That was the big guessing game thing that all two of you played haha). It had been my intention to reinterpret one of those to try & punch it into shape but I just found it too hard/the lines too banal. This definitely needs more work, but time being what it is means you get what you see …
Day 23 — TIL about Bill’s birthday
old man Bill
If Bill were alive today he’d be 459 which although pretty rootin’ tootin’ ancient — is still less than half as long as Noah or Adam.
However, he splashes all the post-flood crew out of the water — over double Abraham & Isaac; almost quadruple poor young Moses.
Which is easier to believe: Methuselah made it to 969 — or the Stratford man wrote the damn plays!
Shakespeare’s birthday/deathday. Each year I try to write something Bill-affiliated. This can be made harder by having a theme superimposed over the top of it (ie, like pandemics or climate change) but at least it forces me to think outside a few boxes for some green inspiration. Which is always a good thing. Need to apologise in advance for the long pome, I didn’t have the time to write a short poem.
If only poets had the power that multinational corporations have to effect change in the world.
Bill S & his posse of Nature Poets
Bill being a country boy born & bred was a big lover of nature dropping dozens of wildflowers animals, trees, natural events 63 birds, & more into his plays ; with whimsical abandon he set them in forests, on coasts, on rugged heaths — if he were writing today climate change would be his bent
so too Bill Blake’s rage against dark Satanic Mills which were pumping his pristine English skies full of black soot & were, after all, the beginning of man-made climate change
the posse is being assembled
Lawrence & his dark forest soul would definitely be there … with his animalistic magic of snakes & bats & pansies
a third Bill, Wordsworth knew nature was divine & believed true happiness was achieved when existing in harmony with it, always happy to wax lyrical about daffodils, clouds, & Tintern Abbey
youthful firebrand Keats loved nature’s vibrant scents & colours & cool calming water a man who happily sang odes to Nightingales, Autumn, & the Sea would get in on this action
although somewhat simpler in scope another John (Clare) less complex & less well known marvellously describes the natural world & rural life in affectionate vignettes of Winter Evening, Wood Pictures in Summer, & the Little Trotty Wagtail
Emerson’s belief that we understand truth only by studying the song of nature & Humblebees & Snow Storms
& Shelley’s awareness she destroys as well as creates; singing odes to the West Wind, Skylarks & Mont Blanc
& Dickinson finding awe in everything Light Existing In Spring Birds coming down the Walk
& Frost whose name suggests he should be though not a pure nature poet loved Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
many modern poets too are in the posse
the marvellous Mary Oliver who instills poems with wonder-filled images drawn from daily walks near her home Wild Geese & Journeys on Summer Days
& Gary Snyder an activist who speaks with an ancient voice but modern tongue of fertile soil, animal magic, the power of solitude, rebirth; the love & ecstasy of the dance & Mountains and Rivers Without End
but as wonderful as all these nature loving poets are what we really need is for everyone to remember they too are poets, alive in this bleak eternal universe only because our home is a delicately crafted paean to life