THE WORD ON THE .NET

Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

For Bea: Poetry From a Soliloquy (Hamlet’s)

After an over-long delay, during which Bea has been angelically patient and for which she has my gratitude, her prize winning poem is finally here. Bea has the dubious honour of being the latest subject of my Bard vs. Bard inspired poetry series. The last great poet to receive my unwanted attention was T. S. Elliot. Today I have turned toward that most prolific and esteemed of playwrights: William Shakespeare. I can present this to you only because of Bea‘s generous nature, and her tolerance for all that is bonkers. Read on, and be amazed… *cough*

 

To Bea, or not to Bea, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler to have kids in kind and to suffer

The bringing of in of dead sparrows and howled outraged tunes,

Or to wake, Alarmed by damp nappy troubles,

And the opposing end: to die, to sleep

No more; instead buy a sheep? But neigh! Horsey’ll end

The heart-ache, as not the henna’ed Natural locks

In the Fresh hair-do, do; ’Tis consumerism

Stoutly to be squished. Yet to dye the soap,

The soap, perchance to Cream; Ay, there’s the rub,

For in that weep for health, what dreams may come,

Before we are muffled by layered mournful soil.

—o—

 

In case you are interested in quantifying the actual degree of havoc I have wreaked, here is the original (taken from Wikipaedia):

 

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

The heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks

That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,

To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there’s the rub,

For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, (continues…)

 —o—

If you want to get to know Bea better (and who wouldn’t?) you can find her here:

 

Image provided under open-source license courtesy of the Perseus Digital Library.

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16 Comments

  1. I seem to be picturing Billy scratching his head in confusion a) trying to analyse what you’ve done and b) trying to figure out how to include it in a piece of his own ;)

    Nice mangling!

    • He’s probably not thinking straight because he’s hungry…

      Billy: “Forsooth! But soft, what’s light on yonder oven grates?
      It is the yeast, and my Hamlet has risun.
      Arise, fair bun, and fill my pork-less gloom.”

  2. I still can’t believe you worked me into Shakespeare. He could be silly too, I think he’d enjoy what you’ve done.

    Thanks TJ, this was fun!

    • I enjoyed writing it and, most importantly, I’m glad you liked it. :-)

      Honestly, it was a bit of a no-brainer. When I picked your name it took about a second for me to start wondering whether I could work it into this…

  3. Nicely done TJ. A good reworking and one that I suspect was a lot of fun. I reworked My Bonnie lies over the Ocean for the Inkbabes the other week. LOL

    • That sounds like fun too – if you’ve got a link then post it below and I’ll take a look.

      I do enjoy writing stuff like this, and it can be surprisingly challenging getting things to ‘fit’. There is still a part of me however, that feels as though I am committing some form of artistic and literary sacrilege. I shall leave that for others to decide. All I know is that any stirrings of guilt and unease I feel haven’t been enough to stop me yet…

  4. I chuckled at this one: “No more; instead buy a sheep? But neigh! Horsey’ll end”

    • Thanks Matthew. I try not to be woolfully obtuse when choosing my rhymes, but I know some require more prhoof of my abilities before they are are going to be shau(n) enough about me to become one of my mane fans. ;-)

  5. An imaginative rework of the original. It was fun to read.

    • Thanks Marianne, but all honour and praise should be heaped upon my muse. Bea is a lovely human being, and quite exceptional for a mortal…

    • *Suddenly he is overcome by angst and self-doubt* It made you ‘lol’, but not ‘LOL’? Oh no! Am I loosing my edge? Am I not as funny any more? Am I so old and out of touch that what makes the yoof laugh these days has changed? Am I to be lumped together with mime artists and clowns who, however proficient at their art, can no longer entertain a public with more modern and sophisticated tastes?

      All is lost. I shall retire to an isolated cave in the Hebrides where I shall talk to myself, and listen to the seagulls laugh at my jokes… :'(

    • Quoth he: “That was a cool soliloquy!”
      but can temperature define verbal artistry?
      Modern idioms of speech seem to cover every page,
      Such that the quality of prose is hard to gauge.

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