Thinking of Shakespeare, King Lear, Towards the End of Act V (2 for April)


Thinking of Shakespeare, King Lear, Towards the End of Act V

And my poor fool is hanged
he writes
and my poor heart
is broken
and why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life
he asks
as I weep, asking back
how someone could so barter
humanity, and as his character asks help
with a button, tears
unbutton my face, wondering
what grace brings me this suffering
from several rows back, this tough loss
on scuffed planks
over there, lit
by some very bright lights
that couldn’t possibly illuminate
my personal nights,
suffering that I’ve only paid for
in paper currency
and could at least in theory
leave early.

Another draft poem for April Poetry Month.  This one for Real Toads, Marian’s prompt on fools, which I believe is what Lear calls Cordelia in the wonderful conclusion of Act V; I’ve included here lines from the play. 

April is a month in which I am attempting to write a poem a day–this is my second (ha) for the day, but I’m just going to go this month with whatever comes up, when it does (as it may not always!) Thanks for your indulgence!

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8 Comments on “Thinking of Shakespeare, King Lear, Towards the End of Act V (2 for April)”

  1. I really love the idea of tears unbuttoning one’s face. Apt, and very fresh.

  2. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    Bloody Shakespeare, eh? Gets ya every time. Or if he doesn’t, it is never the fault of the writing. Who could hear that with a dry eye?

  3. Love the lines:
    ‘how someone could so barter
    A poem with some iconic echoes…

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    King Lear was the first Shakespearean play that brought me to tears in the reading thereof. You have touched on the ever so moving portrait of this broken ‘every man’, humbled by the loss of all that was held most precious in his life.

  5. Marian Says:

    Have you read Station Eleven?

  6. M Says:

    my kingdom for a bed… I’m glad you’re soldiering through ~

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