Thursday, November 30, 2006

Puzzle-Dazzle in a Poem

HEFTY AND FEATHERY at the same time, here's an airtight evidence of poetry's power to encapsulate anything of epic scope. One of my favorite poems from the anthology 180 More: Extraordinary Poems For Every Day (edited by Billy Collins), the following piece written by R.S Gwynn is simply nifty in summing up some of Shakespeare's masterpieces, whittling down the formidable canon to the level of a playful puzzle: a deconstructionist's romp through the ramparts of the Elizabethan verse structure that often looms like an enchanted jungle to many an English Lit major. Who says one can't graze through the wilderness of a poem, chew the cud of its subtleties, and lick one's lips with a flourish of a grin after reading? Consider this:

Shakespearean Sonnet

A father is haunted by his father’s ghost.
A boy and girl love while their families fight.
A Scottish king is murdered by his host.
Two couples get lost on a summer night.
A hunchback murders all who blocks his way.
A ruler’s rival plot against his life.
A fat man and a prince make rebels pay.
A noble Moor has doubts about his wife.
An English king decides to conquer France.
A duke learns that his best friend is a she.
A forest sets the scene for this romance.
An old man and his daughters disagree.
A Roman leader makes a big mistake.
A sexy queen is bitten by a snake.

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