August 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 11 Comments
Tags: ,

washing holey old clothes
watching the detectives
unremarkable traces
Lady Macbeth
don’t tell me to un-
Shakespeare English
it is not possible
no matter how much
handwringing in the after effect


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  1. i just love the sounds of this one 🙂
    Cool, thanks Jessie.

  2. If it’s alright with you, can someone else do my comment? He says it so much better than me. (I love this Paul, made me smile at the cleverness of it all, every line.)…

    If you cannot understand my argument, and declare `It’s Greek to me’, you are quoting Shakespeare;
    if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare;
    if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare;
    if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare;
    if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool’s paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare;
    if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then – to give the devil his due – if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare;
    even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then – by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness’ sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! – it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

    Bernard Levin
    Holey mackeral! First prize for longest comment ever, Mr Levin. But absolutely on the money. Not just phrases but around 2000 individual words including such odd ones as ‘epileptic’ – King Lear, Act II, Scene ii,
    ‘eyeball’ – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene ii,
    ‘puking’ – As You Like It, Act II, Scene vii,
    ‘skim milk’ – Henry IV, Part I, Act II, Scene iii,
    ‘hot-blooded’ – King Lear, Act II, Scene iv
    ‘wormhole’ – The Rape of Lucrece.
    ‘alligator’ – Romeo and Juliet (First Folio), Act V, Scene I,
    In fact, not only are many household words first found in Shakespeare but the phrase itself ‘household words’ is first found in King Henry V, Act IV, Scene iii. So let’s it hear for Big Billy Shakespeare. It is part of the function of poets to create the language.

  3. Hi Paul,

    ‘Don’t tell me to un-Shakespeare English’ is brilliant. Looking forward to reading more of your poetry. And I can’t help but wonder about the holey clothes. I had a strange ‘dagger’ experience this morning myself.


  4. You go Squires! And tell them where to go! Definitely impossible to un-Shakespeare english (and who would want to for God’s sake). Oh the unwashed rabble.

  5. I’m absolutely in love with the lines:

    don’t tell me to un-
    Shakespeare English
    it is not possible

    You couldn’t have said it more clearly. Have a great night.

  6. I like how the handwringing and the washing of the holey old clothes relates to Lady Macbeth’s constant cry of : ‘Out damned spot.’ Another gem from you, Paul.

  7. Great words, I was thinking that the logic of your poem is influenced by the fact that the arrow of time advances only in one way

  8. Ditto Alec: “unshakespeare english”. Brilliant.

  9. who’s the un-shakesprearer?

  10. Love it — “don’t tell me to un-Shakespeare English.” 😀

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