This poem was inspired by a blogpost of a young actor/writer I follow, at Daze & Weekes, on WordPress Reader.
In this blogpost, entitled “Melancholy Jacques,” she includes a YouTube video of herself, doing, in plainclothes, a monologue. She plays Jacques, from the Shakespeare play, As You Like It, a part she played over the summer. It’s the famous monologue “All the world’s a stage….” about “The Seven Ages of Man.” The monologue takes us along, on Man’s journey, from birth, to old age, to death.
Her rendition is very well done, and I encourage you to watch it.
Personally, because I recently lost an elderly parent, listening to Shakespeare’s words left me quite saddened. His clinical, no holds barred description of aging felt raw, and landed a bit too close to home.
As I was commenting on her blogpost, the first two lines of this poem came to me–in iambic pentameter, no less–and ended up as a sonnet, of sorts. So, thank you, Daze & Weekes (and Shakespeare) for the “prompt!” And I hope you all enjoy reading!
How harsh a critic Shakespeare is, of Man,
And yet, remains his fiercest advocate.
While strutting on the stage, panting iambs,
He picks and scrapes at scabs, most delicate.
He sculpts our bodies, frail, the Roman way,
With every wart and mole and line revealed;
He draws our naked souls—now visible—
No inky blot of black is left concealed.
Blythe harmony completes his pleasing chaos,
Ensnaring us, in metric melodies.
His purpose seems, while nursing us, to slay us,
To soothe a babe, with quick infinity.
Though soft his voice, obsequious, and sweet,
His wicked blows yet louder do entreat.
Copyright 2019 Andrea LeDew
For a kinder, gentler view of being human (written on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fall from greatness, after his stellar work on COVID)read Human.
I just shared this on Twitter. I’m still blown away and goose-bumpy.
Wow that’s a first. I am honored by your attention. Thanks again!
Wow! You’ve outdone yourself with this one! (I watched “Melancholy Jacque.” She gives a compelling performance.)
Thank you Liz! I agree with you about the video!Glad you enjoyed my pathetic mimicry of Shakespeare and also her delivery of the real thing.
You’re welcome! It was a welcome spot of pleasure at the end of a very long day.