A few years ago I went to see my brother in New York, where he was living at the time. He co-wrote a modern version of Othello set in the 1960s with the Black Panthers. As I recall, the language was Shakesperian, yet transformed for the new setting. (Incidentally, he played the part of Iago… the wickedest one there ever were).
I was so inspired by this trip, and by seeing this play, that I started to write my own poetry… also in Shakespeare’s verbal form of choice, iambic pentameter! In case you do not know, iambic pentameter is a form using five stressed syllables on each line, usually ten syllables total.
I was so inspired that I continued writing in this vein for several months afterwards. Here are a few of my poems:
1. “The Joy that You Deserve” (A love sonnet I wrote for my wife) 2/23/14
Sweet love, who knows the source of beauty’s touch
Invoking peace and joy within my breast
Let not the pains of sadness scar so much
And let my love inspire calm and rest.
For I would give what you have given me
An equal gift that matches all you are
I’d render you a heart of levity
And faith that time will heal the rankest scar.
For you are pure deserving love’s delight
And every day a blissful state within
Because I know this well I rush to fight
In hopes this battle loving words will win.
It is a noble cause that I now serve
To let you know the joy that you deserve.
2. “Great Feline Mother” (a poem about our cats missing my wife while she was away) 2/26/14
Today our precious feline Sadie asked
Where did her loving mother disappear?
Approaching by the window where she basked,
I reassured her, “She will soon be near.”
And later as I played upon the keys
Piano music drifting through the flat
Said Leeloo, “Papa could you tell me please
Why did our mama go and where’s she at?”
I try to keep their kitty tears at bay
To see them suffer hurts me to the bone
But there is little I can think to say
The greatest mother cats have ever known.
How can they not but miss her loving touch
Which caters to their every feline need?
No parent ever loved her babes so much
Or kept them well in dish, in bed, indeed!
Please know Great Feline Mother how we yearn,
We wait with bated breath for your return!
3. “When Inspiration Strikes” (a poem about inspiration!) 2/27/14
When inspiration strikes I grab a pen
And on my pad do I begin to write
Following its current once again
I let this feeling substitute for sight.
And so it every moment guides my thought
Unfolding in a perfect fluid path
And one which I would never know to spot
If not for this, some transcendental math.
Which calculates and adds up on its own
Instructing me to write down what I find
Delivered from that high inspired zone
I simply take dictation from my mind.
It is a joyous process to behold
That yields fine nuggets of creative gold!
4. “The Greatest Art” 3/19/14
I am a man. I do not bend or stray
I love the joy of knowing where I stand
The simple yet profound purpose I play
A solid form of rock upon the land.
I lead my followers to find their strength
which does exist within us through our mind
The power which will go to any length
No truer gift our search could ever find.
This clarity with which I play my part
Profoundly knowing what I have to give
To shape my life becomes the greatest art
The art of understanding how to live.
I have been working on this craft sometime
My pure devotion to it never strayed
Today this work, it seems a thing sublime
I know it has been worth the price I’ve paid.
To know my power and my purpose too
A great reward to come from all I do.
Yesterday I wrote about how, a few months ago, I was inspired to write silent movie music after hearing live music performed to silent movies. It seems that an inspiration can really influence the direction of my creativity. And so it was with my Shakesperian poetry phase!