Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Well, I'm here to learn and teach and have fun.

> >
> > i'd like to challenge you within this thread,
> > to write blank verse replies exclusively.
> If I had all day to spend on hlas, I'd take you up on that, just for the fun
> of it. But I only read the group in the morning before work and the late
> evening after work, and sometimes at lunch.
> > now tell me where your hero got the chops
> > to write *rape of lucrece* to henry wriothesley
> > 'bout a topic controversial to the realm,
> > in verse sublimely suited to the topic,
> > instead of earning money for his family.
> Since we know almost nothing about the life of Shakespeare,
I don't see how
> you say he didn't have the "chops" to write Lucrece.

Maybe I should have said the BALLS, to write that poem to HW on that topic at that time....What we DO know about William is that he had 3 (count 'em 3) kids by the time he was 21 or so! and by age 29 he's writing Rape of Lucrece! Why? The traditional bio has him going to London to become an actor and there learning to write plays.

Shakespeare in Love was totally inaccurate as to chronology: by the summer of 1593 he would have been on top of the world, with first narrative poem, Venus & Adonis, in print in an elegant edition.

A university education
> is certainly no qualification to write poetry, or even to versify as you do.
> Many poets have never been to college, and many people who have cannot write
> poetry.

But they doen't write 265 stanzas of rime royal. They write like Burns or Whitman in the vernacular...Lucrece is NOT vernacular.

> And the idea that you have to have written poetry to appreciate it is as
> ludicrous as your other ideas.

Tom, it isn't that you have to have written it to appreciate it, but it helps. Anyone who plies a trade or craft can appreciate and see things done by others in the same profession; details missed by the uninitiated. But metrically-challenged Stratfordians, like yourself, can still make a strong contribution in other areas-- biography, e.g. and, of course, rude, insulting words like "ignorant antiStratfordian" and "ludicrous."

Consider: who are the reliable quality posters in this group besides the two Peters? What do they have in common? All have written and posted quality poetry, or are capable of doing so (even Dave K, no doubt) And since they have or can, they recognize the quality of Shakespeare's "graver labor," which the author wrote when he was 30 years old, and dedicated to a very influential young nobleman: a poem of masterful artistic expression.

For much imaginary work was there;
Conceit deceitful, so compact, so kind,
That for Achilles' image stood his spear,
Griped in an armed hand; himself, behind,
Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind:
A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head,
Stood for the whole to be imagined. (204)

That's stanza 204 of 265. Anyone who can't hear Shakespeare's mastery and control of his material in this poem, in my opinion, is either a) not poetical all, or b) a bad poet. I think any good poet can fail acknowledge the tour de force the author at least ATTEMPTED (and in my opinion, pulled off) in Rape of Lucrece: a mini-epic in sublime style, about the founding of the Roman Republic. A kind of "prequel," praised by no less a critic than Gabriel Harvey, a pretty fair poet himself.

This was my point in the first place (remember, Tom?): that Rape of Lucrece would be a little more challenging to write than revising old plays in blank verse. That's why it was published and dedicated to a nobleman, and the plays were not (at least not immediately.)

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