Hamlet and Juliet in A Midsummer Twelfth Night’s Sonnet on Shakespeare’s Birthday
(with apologies to Will)
In my salad days, when I was green in judgment,
not stepping o’er the bounds of modesty,
I was a dish fit for the gods.
Now I’m in my prime, set up with a posh little Upper East Side co-op and a hefty trust fund from Daddy… plus a live-in honey who’s fast losing his sweetness. Nothing in his life becomes him, and nothing will come of nothing.
He awoke, rounded with a little sleep. “Ay, me…”
“I have not slept one wink,” I bitched, rubbing my sore bottom. “What a piece of work is man! Do you think I am easier played on than a pipe?”
He leapt from the bed. “That is should come to this! Why, only last night you cried, A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”
“True it is,” I countered, “that we have seen better days. Yet brevity is the soul of conscience, and the” (wince) “parting was such sweet sorrow.”
He was pi-i-i-issed. “Tempt not a desperate man, for delays make dangerous ends.”
(Now I’m thinking, “MY end got all the ‘danger’ last night… He hath eaten me out of house and home, and he thinks too much, with a lean and hungry look. There’s daggers in men’s smiles, and… is this a dagger I see before me?”)
I pointed to the door. “Out, damned Snot! Out, I say! Men of few words are the best men, and your tale is told by an idiot.”
“The course of love never did run smooth,” he stammered. “Shall we meet again?”
(Trying to live down the riddle… Q: ‘What do you call a bass player without a girlfriend?’ A: ‘Homeless.’)
He continued, “Don’t forget, dearest, we have a palimony agreement. You’ll pay a great deal too dear,” he grinned, “for what’s been given freely.”
“The game is up.” I stamped my little bare foot and caught a splinter. “This is the worst!”
He tried to rustle up tears as he packed. “There words are razors to my wounded heart. I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for Daws to pick at.”
(I knew that has-been “Mork and Mindy” chick Pamela Daws was after him, ever since the gig at the China Club.)
“In my mind’s eye,” I said, thinking of the money I’d have to pay this jerk, “shall I compare thee to the dogs of war? A borrower with a dull edge? The world is grown so bad, the fool doth think he is wise.”
I escorted him to the door. He shambled out, his bass hanging on his back like a monkey. Then, turning back to me, he whimpered, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s-” SLAM!
Peace at last. “I like this place, and willingly would waste my time in it.” Then, cutting the first of many checks I’d have to pay my new ex, I grumbled, “But first… let’s kill all the lawyers.”
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
It’s the Bard’s birthday! He’d be three days older than water today. This is also (and this is so tragically Shakespearean) the anniversary of his death, so he deserves something special. Imaginary Garden With Real Toads asked us to have our way with him (well, with his writing, anyway), but I gathered so many snippets from so many plays and sonnets, if I tried to do citations, they would run longer than the piece itself. I leave it to you, my oh-so-savvy readers, to separate the Will from the chaff. This will also be posted to dverse Open Mic Night.
NaPoWriMo #23 and still ticking! This form, which employs lines from other writer(s) re-ordered to create a new poem, is called something or other, but dang, I can’t remember. Paging Viv!! Peace, Amy
April 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm
This is mega-cool 😀
April 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm
Beautiful play on the Bard’s great words! You’ve rendered it smoothly in such a brilliant way, Amy!
April 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm
A tale as complex as any of Will’s plays. 🙂
April 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm
You forgot King Lear, Richard III, Julius Caesar, As you Like It and Macbeth in your title, but I forgive that for the story of parting is so much fun, mashing together ancient and modern in a Work of Art. Didn’t Anthony Burgess play like this in Clockwork Orange? I love that you used many fools in your tale, too. I saw Elizabethan costumes, Commedia dell’arte scatology, and ever changing settings: penthouse, desert, throne room, etc. Nicely reversed power roles. Bravo!
Sharp Little Pencil
April 25, 2013 at 2:58 am
Wow, Susan, thanks for the complex and kind words!
April 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm
What delight to read Amy ~ I enjoyed the weaving of quotes from The Bard work. The ending though made me laugh, ha ~
April 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm
haha..so good amy…love how you wove the snippets together…i bet good old will would’ve had lots of fun reading this..
April 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm
A captivating modern-day Shakespearean tale, Amy! Made me smile.
April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm
Another shhhhh for daring to laugh in the middle of the soaps!! But laugh at this I dare and she knows what to do with shhhhh 😉 When I read something that makes me laugh, I laugh, soaps or nay, and this made me scream!
I play bass, so yeah, you have my sympathy.
April 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm
What fun. Great playing with plays. But the funniest bit was in your notes: separate the Will from the chaff. I am a sucker for good wordplay.
April 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm
I’m giggling in the dark, Oh my. I was caught offguard, thats my excuse. Brilliant and funny, Willy would’ve loved you for this.
April 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm
a midsummer nights SLAM eh? smiles…haha…i am sure willy would much appreciate your fun you had with this…and the fun i had in reading it as well…smiles…this was good amy…smiles.
April 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm
Oh I love the style of this poem, though I don’t know the name of it offhand either. Nicely done.
Kay, Alberta, Canada
April 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm
Your prose beats Shakespeare in his salad days! I laughed and laughed and laughed, very much out loud. You have aced this prompt, Amy. “Out, damned Snot” had me hysterical.
April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm
Oh, this was amusing to read and I may add very well done.
April 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm
I got a wonderful laugh out of this, Amelita. Thank you.
April 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm
Amy, Amy ~~~ unbelievable the way you gave us twisted Will! Definitely had your way with him …………
Cressida de Nova
April 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Very clever ..hilarious ‘misuse’ of the Bard’s quotes. LOL. Nice birthday present for Will.
M. J. Joachim
April 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm
Very creative and interesting…nicely done!
April 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm
The “bass player” joke was so funny (my son also plays bass). Really fun and sometimes those checks just need to be written 🙂
Susie Clevenger (@wingsobutterfly)
April 23, 2013 at 11:32 pm
Love it…you have taken Shakespeare into the present with a flair. Writing checks and killing lawyers….this whole piece made me smile!
April 24, 2013 at 3:23 am
Lol. Enjoyed the humour and references. Not easy to put that together but you pulled it off, Amy.
April 24, 2013 at 9:51 am
Hilarious from first to last, very clever and adroit with the Will quotes, but I have to admit what had me hooting out loud was the bass-player joke! I have a tag at my place I’ll loan you for this one, Amy: Why I Don’t Date Musicians. This was wonderful!
April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am
Amy, you certainly know how to make me laugh! Excellent playing with the plays and quotes. 🙂
April 24, 2013 at 11:25 am
Tried to click on the 5-Star Excellent button 2 times w/o success. Doing it here, ‘excellent, excellent, entertaining, amusing & hilarious. Have said it before, will say it again, ‘Your’e good– you’re really, really good, you sharp little pencil you’…
April 24, 2013 at 8:08 pm
Really funny but most times truer than life itself. 🙂
April 25, 2013 at 6:32 am
Clever and funny, Amy.
Todd Alan Kraft
April 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm
So tell the bassist joke again… I don’t get it…. Seriously, a fun, smooth read.
April 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I’m not sure how I missed this one, Amy. I can see you really got stuck in and the result made for very enjoyable reading.
You have been such a sport throughout our April poem-a-day marathon, and I would like to offer you membership of Real Toads, if you would be interested. Drop me an email at email@example.com
the real olive
May 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm
you are awesome.
April 27, 2018 at 7:00 am
Project attendant moved: