Our Will

William Shakespeare : April 1564 – 23 April 1616
“…unpack my heart with words”

Of course for him it was just bums on seats
And now he would be writing for EastEnders.
Perhaps. And yet how often his conceits
Will simply blow away all the contenders !

Night falls ? “Light thickens” ! Oh Yes ! Yes Siree !
And what it thickens into is “thin air”,
Which sometimes — Breathe it in ! — “Smells wooingly”,
Perfusing foison innocent and fair.

He “taught me language ; and my profit” is
That I can curse : “Beast !” “Slave !” “Toad !” “Rogue, rogue, rogue !”
As also flatter fools, spike sophistries,
And garnish truth with spicy burr and brogue.

But can I free myself from his endeavour ?
“Never, never, never, never, never !”

Robert Ilson,
Poet Laureate