Poetry Friday: Puck's Speech, and Some Seuss
April 14, 2006
Kelly Herold at Big A little a started this poetry Friday idea a few weeks back. Since then the idea has really taken off (helped, no doubt, by the fact that April is National Poetry Month). Last week I noticed poems at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy, Big A, little a, Students for Literacy Ottawa, Scholar's Blog, and Chicken Spaghetti. Gregory K at Gotta Book has a poem every day for April, and his new Fib format has really caught people's attention.
Here is my contribution for this week. First, Puck's closing speech at the end of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Act V: Scene I. PUCK (to the audience):
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long,
Else the Puck a liar call.
So goodnight unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends."
I've always loved the beginning of this speech. "If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here while these visions did appear." I think it sums up what plays are all about. The characters are shadows that appear before you, and maybe do things that you wouldn't ordinarily accept, but you suspend reality (by slumbering), and enjoy the play.
And next, some Seuss:
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
At the far end of town
where the Grickle-grass grows
and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
and no birds ever sing excepting old crows...
is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.
And deep in the Grickle-grass, some people say,
if you look deep enough you can still see, today,
where the Lorax once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted the Lorax away.
What was the Lorax?
And why was it there?
And why was it lifted and taken somewhere
from the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows?
The old Once-ler still lives here.
Ask him. He knows.
And finally, more Seuss, for two of my favorite people in the world. You know who you are:
Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss
Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high,
He could see forty miles from his throne in the sky!
"Hooray!" shouted Yertle. "I'm king of the trees!
I'm king of the birds! And I'm king of the bees!
I'm king of the butterlies! King of the air!
Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair!
I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!"
Happy Friday to all!