If I were to save a piece
of Will, from all the pleasure
he has given me, I’d need
the wit of Beatrice
to sway my choice
and the cunning of the Nurse
to keep it to myself:
the women who populate
his plays, living on today
in modern Mirandas and Violets,
Ophelias, Lady Macbeths,
Cordelias, Katherinas, Juliets,
to name a few, beating in my heart,
a sisterhood of poetry, of which I’m part.
Kim M. Russell, 23rd April 2020
Kerry was the host on Saturday 23rd April, 2016, the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and, possibly, birth. Because the recording of births was not compulsory, his baptism was the only clue to his date of birth, written in the Parish Register at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon on Wednesday, 26th April 1564. As baptisms typically took place within three days of a birth, and parents were instructed by the Prayer Book to ensure that their children were baptised no later than the first Sunday after birth, it’s unlikely that Shakespeare was born any earlier than the previous Sunday, 23rd April.
Kerry’s challenge encourages us to approach the topic of Shakespeare in a different way. She says that our world is very different to the one he inhabited, and many would question the relevance of his work today. If we could save only one piece of his body of work – one name, one line, one title, one sonnet, one play – which would it be?
As I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the twenty-third word is ‘cunning’.
This prompt was trickier than I first thought – and then it ended with a rhyming couplet!