Sunday, August 31, 2003

More with Nihil

Neil Brennen (Spam Scone) write:

> As with your fellow-traveler Toby, when you've lost an argument, you
> end with a jade's trick. I know you of old.

What does Neil mean "lost an argument"? What argument? I thought I was having a discussion, a brain-storming session with Elizabeth.

> > > > 1. The timing: Marlowe dies, Shakespeare's born within a fortnight.
> > >
> > > Even allowing for the figurative "birth", this is evidence of nothing
> > > other than coincidence.
> >
> > It's one of many coincidences. You have enough, it becomes
> > circumstantial evidence.
> But as we've seen, your hand is empty. You have nothing to support
> this singular coincidence.

Which hand? In some disciplines having an empty hand is desirable.

Do you mean I have no further evidence? How do you know what evidence I have? Much of it is public domain stuff. It all adds up.

> > > > 2. Dedication promising "graver labor" (Marley and Shakespeare loved
> > > > wordplay)
> > >
> > > So does Bob Grumman, yet I've never seen him suggested as author of
> > > the Canon.
> >
> > Clever.
> No, not at all. I could have suggested any number of writers fond of
> wordplay. The point is this is a worthless claim in the absence of
> anything concrete.

You are too modest. It WAS somewhat clever, because BG is such an amusing example. Not sure what you mean by "anything concrete."

Tell you what, Neil, why don't you take a breather and let Elizabeth Weir say what SHE has to say. Then we might learn more than you and I are likely to, since you are "arguing" without knowledge of the poems in question. Your quiver is empty, so to speak.

> > > > 3. V&A contains echoes of H&L, including the phrase "rose cheek'd
> > > > Adonis" which appears NOT WHERE ELSE IN WORLD LITERATURE, but appears
> > > > only in V&A and in H&L (which wasn't printed until 1598) on line 93
> > > > (V&A was published in '93).
> > >
> > > We don't know that H & L didn't circulate in manuscript, or that
> > > Shakespeare didn't meet Marlowe and got the phrase from him. And
> > > there's nothing extrordinary about an unknown writer echoing a more
> > > famous one.

I like the second option better. It's cleaner. like the scene in the tavern in Shakespeare in Love, Ethel the Pirate's Daughter...but "Rose cheek'd Adonis" instead. I like it. I think our work here is done.

> > Now this bears some exploration. But to do so, it will help to read
> > Hero & Leander. Let's work out the time line, etc. for the scenario
> > you suggest.
> Just like a wack mind to take a dismissal and turn it into a
> "scenario". Yes, H & L could have possibly circulated in manuscript,
> as allegedly Shakespeare's "sugarded" sonnets did.

Neil, I find the phrase "wack" offensive. It implies that I follow THE ONE TRUE WACK -- Bob Grumman, which I don't. If you're in love with the homonym, however, you can think of me as a "whack," okay? Whack. with an h.

> However, as
> bookburn has pointed out, a reference to roses in the cheeks is not
> unknown in the work of other writers.

Neil, this has been hashed out before, with one or two heavyweights chipping in, and the phrase "rose cheek'd Adonis" is found only in Marlowe and Shakespeare. These are not the only parallels between them. I really don't have time to go over it all again with you personally. Read the old threads or Hero & Leander. I recommend the latter and enjoy!!! I read your short story, by the way, and the tale in H&L is similar.

And as our Ever-Posting Poet
> hinted, there's nothing remarkably poetic about the phrase.

Maybe not "remarkably" poetic, but poetic.

And I like that phrase Ever-Posting Poet. Have you used it before? Can I use it? I'll trade you one "rose cheek'd Adonis" and a "tears from sluices" for it.

> In which H&L circulated in manuscript. When do you think
> > William got hold of it. What month and year? Where did he get it? What
> > connection did he have with the Marlowe circle. I'm not saying you're
> > wrong, I'm asking you to think it through. You know how difficult it
> > is to write elegant verses, like Marlowe or Shakespeare.
> I know how difficult it is for me to write verse - I won't speak for
> the difficulty to Shakespeare or Marlowe. I'm sure that writing music
> is equally difficult - except perhaps for a gifted few: Mozart, etc.
> V&A was
> > registered in April 1593. Let's give him time to write it, along with
> > his other duties. So when did William get the ms? Bear in mind, this
> > would mean that CM's poem was completed and in circ by then.

> > > > The key evidence really is the alleged murder. If you reject Poley,
> > > > Skeres and Frizers story, based on what we now know about the men and
> > > > their activities before and immediatley following the Deptford event
> > > > (in other words, they were PROFESSIONAL LIARS! get it?) then school's
> > > > out.
> > >
> > > All antiShakespeareans (this includes you and Peter Farey) begin and
> > > end with conspiracy theories.
> >
> > Well, duh. ;-)
> Yes, that was a truism, wasn't it? Well, others have shot holes in
> Farey's speculations, so there's no need to trot them out again.

OF COURSE, holes can be shot in speculations. But there is pretty strong circumstantial evidence that CM's death was faked in order to deceive and appease Whitgift's sense of justice.

I'd be quite confident in taking the Marlowe case before a modern jury. In fact, if you want to debate the issue in public sometime, you're on. In Philadelphia, maybe. I've done it before, I can do it again.

But right now, you haven't read enough to do that. So let's hear what Elizabeth (who HAS read a lot) has to say, okay? So do your homework, and I'll see you in Philly, maybe.

> > > > Even WITH the murder, Marley could have written V&A, since it was
> > > > registered (anonymously) in April, weeks before CM's sudden end.
> > >
> > > Perhaps he could have. However, there is no evidence that he did so.
> >
> > Actually, the evidence is stylistic and literary. Only proves that he
> > COULD have written it, not that he did.
> When I say "perhaps he could have", I mean "from the technical
> standpoint he was capable of writing the poem", just as Prokofiev was
> technically capable of composing Stravinsky's Le Sacre or de Falla's
> Three Cornered Hat. I am not suggesting that he did so.

hey, i'm not a classical music expert, but those styles are very different, i guess? But the styles of Marley and the author of V&A are VERY SIMILAR. Very, very similar. See? Well you WILL see when you've read H&L.

> Now Bacon, on the other hand
> > had shown no poetic skill up til 1593, so far as I know. And William?
> > he was an "upstart crow" in 1592. Upstart indeed.
> >
> > > There is evidence that someone by the name of William Shakespeare did
> > > write V & A.
> >
> > Yes. There is. There is also evidence of writers using pseudonyms
> > before this. Martin Marprelate.
> Yes, but there is no evidence that a pseudonym was being used in this
> case.

There is evidence that a pseudonym MAY WELL HAVE been used in this case. Because of all the "candidates" only Marley had a MOTIVE and OPPORTUNITY to use a nom de plume. Why in the name of all that's politick would Bacon have come on to Southampton that way at that time? Shhhh. Rhetorical question, Neil. Let Elizabeth say something.

> > > > I am only offering evidence that existed in 1593 to show that Marley
> > > > probably wrote V&A. Can you do the same?
> > >
> > > Your Emperor has no clothes, Dave.
> >
> > But he has ice cream. mmmmm. ice cream.
> >
> As with your fellow-traveler Toby, when you've lost an argument, you
> end with a jade's trick. I know you of old.

I didn't "lose the argument" because we weren't arguing! Nor did you evince the evidence I requested. But that's okay. Give me the scoop later.

Oh Elizabeth, where are you?

When last we spoke, you were going to offer your evidence that Bacon wrote V&A under the nom de plume Shakespeare in 1593, dedicated to Southampton. You say Essex would have "bitch slapped" the younger Earl for accepting it from William, the low class actor. Only Bacon and Marley could have done it, you said. So where shall I send your ML!A secret decoder ring*, Elizabeth?

David More

*in case anyone should be mystified, the secret decoder ring is a joke, harkening back to the old Captain Midnight radio/tv show. There's probably a web page or two about it.

Friday, August 29, 2003

And then there were 2

> There are only two authorship candidates remaining in the
> field--Bacon and Marlowe--but I don't see a Marlovian case.
> Elizabeth

Gee, Elizabeth, I thought we were hashing it out, and I find you here I got evidence, don't worry. And you? Venus and Adonis and Lucrece.

1. The timing: Marlowe dies, Shakespeare's born within a fortnight.
2. Dedication promising "graver labor" (Marley and Shakespeare loved wordplay)
3. V&A contains echoes of H&L, including the phrase "rose cheek'd Adonis" which appears NOT WHERE ELSE IN WORLD LITERATURE, but appears only in V&A and in H&L (which wasn't printed until 1598) on line 93 (V&A was published in '93).

The key evidence really is the alleged murder. If you reject Poley, Skeres and Frizers story, based on what we now know about the men and their activities before and immediatley following the Deptford event (in other words, they were PROFESSIONAL LIARS! get it?) then school's out.

I am only offering evidence that existed in 1593 to show that Marley probably wrote V&A. Can you do the same?

Hoping you don't "duck" away again,

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Groves of Academe

If you read the post below about Neil Brennen, just today I heard from Dr. Peter Groves, a lecturer at Monash University in Australia, who wrote a book on English meter, who claimed that Brennen's verses scanned fine as iambic pentameter (I think that's what he meant. I wrote to him for clarification. )

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Neil down to size

There's this guy who looks like this, who posts to the HLAS newsgroup, "Spam Scone" (Neil Brennen) who is always making demeaning remarks about people, but doesn't offer any evidence or information himself (that I have noticed). He's been on Greg Reynolds case for a long time, and Greg has been putting up Quality posts there for years! This morning I wrote Neil the following e-mail message:

Friendly suggestion: why don't you stop making snide comments from the sidelines and contribute something positive and productive to the group? Reynolds has contributed so much more than you over the years, it ain't even funny. Knave and Grumman used to be like you, but they learned the value of evidence over sarcastic insults. Hopefully you will too. To be honest with you, I keep reading your posts in hopes that you will contribute something positive or help advance our [knowledge of] Shakespeare and his times, but have been disappointed. But since I'm an optimist, i'm sending you this message, in case it helps. I hope so. As I said, i'm an optimist. And *Hero & Leander* is a fine example of CM's craftsmanship.
Okay, that was that... You've read this far, stay with me ...The night before I posted some verses in the "Rime Royal" newsgroup thread (HLAS) to Lorenzo, a poet from California with whom I've had friendly e-mail exchanges:

Yo, yo, Lorenzo, my new friend,
Won't you compose new verses for this thread
About old Ned--or better, Kit? Pretend
You read the news of Marley first instead,
And learned the muses' darling wasn't dead!
For if that's so, you've got a richer story
About a broken bough, and fallen glory.

So Neil Brennen, from Pennsylvania writes:

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo`s laurel bough,
When pseudo-poets think "yo, yo" can rate
With Marlowe's mighty line. Oh God, and how
Lowercase does go on, and on, and now
And again shows that doggerel is king!
Truly, it seems, that dumb birds may now sing.

If the first two lines seem familiar, it's because they are actually MARLOWE'S! (from Doctor Faustus).

Neil's own words continue (notice the drop in quality and sentiment).

They are actually self-referential...because, although the lines don't scan very well, they're the best thing Brennen has written--so far.

I think my own verses DO scan well (of course), and that I succeeded in communicating to Lorenzo (the best poet in the HLAS group, as far as I know) to write some verses about the 17th Earl of Oxford--or better yet, Marley.

Although (judging from his photo) he's a large man, in Shakespeare studies he's a lightweight, because he hasn't read enough....and he would do well to follow the example of his Stratfordian betters: David Webb, Peter Groves, Terry Ross, David Kathman, and others who know their stuff, but never resort to cheap shots, except for maybe Kathman and Groves, and Webb occasionally. ;-)

For Brennen, the HLAS newsgroup is a place for his personal amusement at the expense of others. He has succeeded in pissing off the usually unflappable Peter Farey, the unusually testy Greg Reynolds, and even me.
If this were Survivor, he'd have been voted off months ago, I'm sure. Right after me.

Still, his versifying shows a bit of promise, if he would just write about William or Edward or Francis or Kit or and not about me, or Reynolds, or Elizabeth Weir or anyone else with ill intent. It's simply bad form. As Reynolds said, it's not a chatroom.

The good news is Lorenzo DID write some rime royal -- not about the topic I suggested, but they were good anyway.

I'll add links later. Enough for now.

Friday, August 22, 2003

a reminder Elizabeth Weir that she has some splainin' to do in the Kathman's Critics thread. Also, who else might have been given access to the Strachey report--names if you have them. (if you've already answered this, where?)

yours truly,
David More

you can call me Dave, and think of me as:

"Grumman with hair"
"A dumber Webb"
"Baker on meds"
"Kathman's downstate foil"
"Lorenzo's Omarlo"
"Farey's shadow"
"Greg's sparring partner"
"Knave's rhyme"
"Ross's cr*ss"
or "the merchant of Marlowe"

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

When pigs fly

Flying pigsI agree with Mark Steese, Richie Miller isn't fanatic, but Weir isn't hateful either. I appreciate Richie's closer look at the Hunt(?) annotation on his website. ... Keep up the good work, Miller. Your decision to put the Oxfrodian (sic) lunacy behind you speaks well of your common sense. Looking forward to your attempt to demolish the Marlowe case for authorship. Here's a start: there is no Marlowe case. He was killed on May 30, 1593 (nearly every regular poster to this group will agree.) And yet, a niggling possibility remains. I mean, pigs COULD fly couldn't they? You could strap them into a hang glider, they'd probably really enjoy it, the breeze blowing in their snouts, ears blowing back. If only someone would put up some evidence that his death was faked. Here, what's this?
JSTOR: Shakespeare Quarterly

Weir having some fun now

Message to David Webb: Well, Dave, I guess we'll have to see if Elizabeth Weir has answers to, or questions about, my queries. Unlike you, i don't have much history of debate with her, but have always admired her resourceful research and in-your-face approach to presenting evidence (although from what you say, she is not so bold in putting up evidence for many of the claims she makes). Will she give me evidence for the claims she makes below? Will she be brave enough to explore the evidence surrounding Marlowe's sudden end, the immediate (re)birth of Shakespeare in print; and the posthumous history of Marlowe's reputation and literary publications? The balls (sic) in her court ...

p.s. to Kathman on the Subject of this thread:
How about those contemporary critics who say Lucrece is inferior goods!? The last reference you offered was 43 years ago. Critical opinion and scholarly research into V&A and Lucrece has changed and expanded greatly since then, no?

Sunday, August 17, 2003

To Dave K:

You knew that Prince just died this month?

I'll try to obtain his 1960 Arden edition of the poems. He says "it will not be difficult to argue..." Does he? On what grounds is Lucrece 'a failure' I wonder. Still he notices that V&A was "complete artistic success"! written in 1592-93, when William was described (Strats claim) as an upstart crow! Neither of these poems appear to have been written by an upstart. In fact, Lucrece, is a very ambitious (conceit deceitful compact kind) mini-epic about the founding of empires. But I'll read what Prince and others have to say about the poem, too.


Rich might believe me to be a fanatical Marlovian, but I don't hate the eminent Stratfordians Terry Ross or Dave Kathman, or anyone in this group, except one guy with a stupid But I'm really not a fanatical Marlovian, because (like Farey, Weir--and a few Stratfordians) I favor evidence over opinion. Call me a "Trutharian."

To: Richie Miller of The Shak KJV Squad

Richie Miller wrote in message Elizabeth Weir:

> I know what I'm talking about. I used to be a fanatical Oxfordian.
> I also used to address Terry and Dave in the rude and maniacal manner
> that you [Elizabeth Weir] do. But you seem to hate them like I never did.

Elizabeth's posts are never rude and maniacal. And hate? No. She's playing evidentiary hardball is all. (I think she's a lawyer, hence the love affair with Bacon). But it sounds like Rich has become a fanatical Stratfordian. Just what they need, a con-vert. I wish one of those Stratferd or Oxfrod types would join the Marlowe side. (I've been courting Grumman for years, but he won't turn). Betty yet, I wish Elizabeth would start looking more into matters Marlovian. She keeps ducking me, though, my high hard ones brush her off the plate of evidence she keeps piling on.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Where's Weir?

Everytime I post a response or query to one of her's, she disappears.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Return of a Colossus

After disappearing for months when his claim of having a Ph.D. degree was exposed as false at HLAS, John "Faker" Baker has returned to the action with a bang: a brand new piece of evidence proving that William Shakespeare was known primarily as an actor. He didn't discover it himself, but he seems to have discovered the discover at a conference. I'll get the link for you, in which John makes his announcement.

There's been a great deal of discussion about what the Latin inscription says exactly, but no one is questioning its authenticity except (just today) Weir, the Baconian. I think she's on to something, and so, apparently, does Peter Groves.

John's amazing colossal website, with his spin on the latest Shakespeare find is here

Poets as critics

To David Webb's question

> Do you *really* believe that successful critics must perforce be poets?!

HLAS poetry maven, John W. Kennedy, replies: "How many aren't? Are their any literary critics of note who have not plunged in? I do not deny that composition and criticism are quite different, but I can't think of a major critic who is not also at least a minor poet. (And Walter Kerr confesses, somewhere or other, to being a failed playwright.) Of course, one need not be a practising poet to recognize bad grammar, a meandering plot, rude or inconsistent characterization, or inappropriate diction. But those are not specifically poetic faults (in the modern sense of "poetic", of course).

I quote this because I've been insisting that those who are incapable of composing blank verse or rime royal themselves have no business saying that a major poem of Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece is inferior or juvenile.

Cursus, foiled again

Patrick Cheney bio

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Yo, Richard, what's the point? I agree with Kathman: it can be a waste of time "debating" true-believers in the HLAS newsgroup. And Dave, to his credit, provides the group with (often) much-needed factual correctives.

This is not take away from your own gadfly contributions, such as the Wool Man thread, and the poem to William Peters (any poet could tell that wasn't by Shakespeare, unless he was trying to write bad poem), and your expose of the (semi-squalid) living conditions in Stratford more than century after the First Folio came out, and the ignorance of the townsfolk as to who William was also stands out. Sure Dave's smugness can be annoying and frustrating at times, but he does a good job of answering queries, and his paragraphs are never gaseous, unlike some, who shall go nameless -- but your guess is (near-rimes gaseous) as good as mine.

Wynn D. More

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Lorenzo, i took your challenge

My friends, 'tis said 'a bad weed never dies,'
But not by those who sell new herbicides
Or naturalists, who know that saying lies.
What's good or bad behavior, who decides?
And what wise minds will be our moral guides?
A man called "William Shakespeare" might be one:
Who reckons Kit's abuses, does his own. (sonnet 121)

The slander of Kit Marley's evil ways,
Is heard, these parts, by 'n early morning riser:
A 'mess', a 'rowdy, rockin' chap', it says,
(The voice of Oxford's well-versed advertiser)
But here it's said by someone who is wiser:
Such words are false, and not contextual
Since Marley's loves were mainly intellectual.

But Ned Devere was venally perverse:
The shallow lowlights, Alan Nelson tells.
Alas, Oxford'yuns have a deeper purse;
A flaw-struck nobleman makes cents, it sells--
Despite the Shakespeare-Marley parallels.
So here's a claim Lorenzo can explain
"DeVere's a boar of very little brain."

just found these lines on the rime royal thread

i hate when that happens--words left out inadvertently, but here's my rewrite

Okay, Lorenzo, you're the doctor, sure;
No argument from me, but what's your claim?
That my poor verse is sic without a cure?
Be patient, won't you, doc? It's but a game:
My limping lines can heal; no more be lame:
If your consulting makes my verses tighter,
I'll 'ply your 'dvice and be a better writer.

and then i wrote...

>Nil Vero Verius, who can deny?
>But it proves next-to-nothing Shakespeare-wise.
>Too bad Ned's fans believe they can rely
>On Latin platitudes, and rosey lies,
>Since nought in Ned's biography applies
>To make it feasible that he would print
>Lucrece to Henry W., no hint.

Dickin' around with Kennedy

I never said Richard Kennedy's "Stratford Man" was "sh*t." David Webb observed (in sprightly verses of his own) that it wasn't rime royal, is all. In good fun. And not to be picky with Dicky, but his verses below are *still* not rime royal, because they're not pentameter. But hey, who's counting? Oh yeah, I am....Along with the other Kennedy and Webb (possibly), and Farey and Lorenzo (probably).

I think Richard, self-style "Gumbonian," was offended by a wisecrack i made to Lorenzo: "Richard appears to be stuck in tetrameter, he should try to squeeze out another plunk per line before getting up from his toiling seat."

And then he wrote:

> Sorry I can't please you, Mr. More. Do you say you are under attack?
> You brought it on yourself. Here's a rime royal flush for you.
> The shit that goes around comes back,
> To haunt the shitter, have you heard?
> The toilet seat is down, so smack
> Your bums to rest and grunt a turd,
> Another time and mind your words.
> My "Stratford Man" was shit you said,
> ?Twas mere "limp crap" ? it's on your head.

Which fell short of rime royal, so I improved it:

The HEARTFELT shit that goes around comes back
To haunt the shitter, OLD DICK K. HAS heard
Another time and mind HIS CHOSEN WORD.
HIS "Stratford Man" was shit THE PAPER said,
'Twas mere "limp crap" UPON HIS HOARY head.

Doesn't that work better? I like throney cause it suggests thorney.

Neither Richard (nor Neil Brennen) seem to understand my purpose in issuing the challenge, or invitation, if you will, to write a stanza or two or rime royal, in solidarity with "the bard" who wrote 265 of them, 1,855 high quality lines in his spare time one year. I maintain that neither William nor Ned DeVere, nor, for that matter, Bacon, would have been capable of this achievement. I'm asking those who disagree to do so in rime royal. I've gone further (to make it interesting) and issued a challenge to hlas poets. So far, only Peter F. and Lorenzo (his real name?) have risen to the occasion (see below). Oh, and Bob G.

Currently Edward DeVere has more quality and quantity verses than either Marlowe or Shak(e)spere or Bacon believers. But Marlovians are gaining fast. Shakespeareans wisely refrain. If Richard isn't up to the challenge, I understand. After writing 7 or 8 stanzas of this form myself, I know how much more difficult it is to write than the more natural (?) tetrameter line which Richard uses pretty well, or blank verse, as Tom Reedy now knows.

Once you get the hang of it, it's fun. Richard Kennedy should try it, instead of complaining about the rules.

> > Don't mean to be a prick, old Dick,
> > Your verses have a flowing folksy style.
> > I've got to hand it to you, take a lick
> > At Will's rime-royal. It may take awhile
> > To get the meter right with no denial,
> > So, smile Dicky, do, and take a shot:
> > Rime royally for Ned DeVere, why not?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Latest News from the Marlowe Society Marlowe Day Sept. 27

More rime royal

This phrase, Good Bob, the motto on your crest:
"Forget the facts, what we dream up must be."
For it describes Stratfordyun thinking best,
(Though some awake, in truth, in Canterb'ry.)
And yet the dreamers' of Freemasonry
Devised a liturgy symbolic, yes?
The Folio of plays, a hoax, my guess.

If you desire evidence, i've got
a book or two supports this far-out claim;
and even will i write verse lines a lot,
to tell you how Will Shakespeare got his name;
Like Lancelot, I'll win this little game.
Although Lorenzo has much weaponry,
More Marlowe fans, it seems, write poetry.

Verbal masturbation

I'm typing this with but one hand
To ask Ms. Weir just why she can't
Reply to my fair query 'bout her hero, Bacon,
And Lucrece and Lucan, and--ah-ah-ahhhh . . .
Nah, i'm fakin'.
Farey's answer to Lorenzo as the common charges against Marlowe.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Neil down

There's this obnoxious poster at HLAS, who goes by the screen name "Spam Scone" (what a stupid pseudonym), who likes to throw insults from the sidelines at insightful posters offering evidence of William's imposture. For instance, in my effort to introduce (Shakespeare's "graver labor) Rape of Lucrece into the discussion, ignoramusses in the group called it an inferior production of the bard's, while I insisted that those who are not qualified--by being poets themselves, or having read professional critics-- have no authority to dismiss the bard's tour de force (written at the age of 30) an inferior work of art, compared to the plays. I've insisted that people like "Spam" (Neil Brennen) should establish their own poetic authority -- or shut up on the quality of Shakespeare's. Of course, they can say they liked it or hated it, but can not assess its value because they are unqualified to do so. It's like someone who eats fast food being a food critic.

So Spam wrote

> If I say a rooster is not a hen, must I lay an egg to prove my
> "authority"?

Saying a rooster is not a hen is like saying a play is not a narrative poem; it doesn't take much special knowledge to know that, but knowing the kinds of roosters and hens--the many varieties of poetry, and recognizing their clucks and metrical variations, requires a little more expertise. So, although Neil's comment laid an egg here, it didn't make him cock of the walk.

But Neil got cocky:

> Prove William Shakespeare's name on the title page [of Rape of Lucrece] wrong. In a sensible, sane argument for once.

So I wrote:

>>Okay, Neil...I can PROVE IT beyond any shadow of a doubt.
>>But first, you've got to make a bet with me.... What will you do in return?
>>Will you write 14 lines of rime royal about how William wrote Lucrece if I prove it to you? Will you?

Unfortunately, Bob Grumman tipped him off: The name William Shakespeare does not appear on the title page of Rape of Lucrece.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Lookin' at Lucan

Today republished the Lucan page and CMjr's essay on Thorpe . . . here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

You and Dave have got me going now. I'll have to dive deeper into your site and
> work out why you are wrong, as you, of course, have to be. Either that or I...
> no.
> If nothing else, I learned how to pronounce "shtuck," a word I've never even
> seen. I grokked it my own shrewd self. Anyway, don't stop now! You could dash
> off another 200 stanzas or so, and really liven things up for the Marlowe
> research throng. Oh, brave new scholarship!

Oh brave new scholarship, indeed. This is what I intended, and I'm glad a poet of your ability has decided to play, to stimulate discussion and raise the level of debate. Let the best poet (i.e. Marley or DeVere or Bacon or, choke, William) win! I figure their supporters ought to be able to put their hero's case into convincing verse. I just wish i wasn't so busy with other projects, but hey, we do want we can.

Last year, I made a proposal to the English Dept. at the local university to expand and footnote my "rap epic" (rapic) the Marliad for a Ph.D. dissertation. It was approved by everyone, including the chair, but not the top Shakespeare prof, a friend of mine, who doesn't want the controversy.

After you examine Peter's website, take a look at mine, especially the work-in-progress draft of my poem posted there, if you're looking for more arguments to consider. Mind you, it isn't written in rime royal, but couplets and extended rimes, including near rimes,if the sense fits. Rather free-flowing. But I think you're right about Peter F. writing another 200 stanzas or so or rime royal. He and I and YOU (!?) could really shake things up in the field of Marlowe-Shakespeare studies.
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.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Farey chimes in

It didn't take long for Peter Farey to answer Lorenzo's music with some notable arguments of his own in rime royal, to boot. He wrote

> The documented record is quite clear -
> A quarrel over just a 'sum of pence'.
> With Skeres and Poley sitting very near,
> Kit died, and Frizer claimed 'twas self-defence.
> Few think this true. It lacks the evidence
> Of how it came that they (and only they)
> Were gathered at that place, that time, that day.
> He should have been at Nonsuch, checking in.
> And Poley had some messages 'in poste',
> The other two a coney for to skin,
> And in their mind such things were uppermost.
> Why were these three in Deptford, playing host
> To Marlowe, poet/playwright, atheist,
> Unless they had been called on to assist?
> Assist in what? Perhaps his 'sudden end'?
> A murder has been mooted oftentime:
> But Cecil (boss) and Walsingham, their friend,
> Were hardly like to join in such a crime.
> To help him flee? I have to say that I'm
> Unable to buy that - the corpse denies.
> So what is left? A make-believe demise.
> Undoubtedly he was in deepest shtuck,
> Odds on for execution, so they say,
> You write an anti-Trinitarian book,
> You get sent permanently on your way.
> Perhaps his friends could get the Queen's OK
> His skin might yet be saved, if not too late,
> His talent still of value to the state.
> The team's assembled: one to perpetrate,
> One to keep watch and one to organize;
> A man condemned to die around that date;
> A safe house, far away from prying eyes.
> The Queen's own coroner to supervise
> The inquest, and to see the jury swore
> The tale they heard was true - no less, no more.
> Is there a happy ending? That I doubt.
> The likely penance permanent exile,
> False name, false background, from now on without
> Old haunts, old friends (but newest juvenile?),
> The Rose, with Alleyn putting on the style.
> He still could write, of course. The play's the thing
> Where reconciliation he might sing.
> Did he? Who knows. But on the Avon's brim,
> A monument with wording strange we find
> (To Stratford's William Shakespeare, not to him,
> Except for those with a more curious mind).
> "Read who is here with Will, if you're not blind"
> It says, and there he is, as born anew.
> And odds of twenty million cry "It's true".

Rime Royal pain in the *

Well now, I've gone and done it, following my relatively successful rime royal debut in Friday's post below), a masterful poet named Lorenzo, wrote his own* I followed with a hasty note to him

>Lorenzo, yes, your rime-royal sure was
>A thing of beauty, worthy of the best,
>So if you don't get a rest, who does?
>In fact, I'm hoping others take the test,
>And gain respect (more than they would have guessed)
>For Lucrece's rime, and what was meant
>By ending it: "everlasting banishment."

which I have since revised and posted and when I get will place it here.

Although my first attempt at rime royal below met with favorable reviews, Lorenzo answered the one above brilliantly, and in doing so, raised the bar to a whole new level.

Lorenzo wrote:

That is a poser, and I s'pose you mean
To promulgate anew your idee fixe
Wherein Kit Marlowe's absenting the scene
In fifteen ninety-three was rigged: that reeks!
If that old theory caulks your boat, she leaks.
Soggier still's the dampy-handed style
With which you angle now, sir, to beguile.

Debauched, amoral, irreligious cuss -
Young Kit was many things. Young Kyd, alack,
Once advertised unto the world just thus;
Of course, he did so writhing on the rack,
And if he could he might have ta'en it back,
E'en as young Kit, if he but could, might say,
"OK! I'll pay! Frize! Lay thy dirk away!"

But no. No recantation (that's for Bob,
Our English whiz, neologistic branch,
Who thinks who favors nobles be a snob.
He's quite a card. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...)
Forthcame, no word from Tom, nor else, to stanch
The bleeding reputation of the man
Who fell to earth there nigh the Deptford Strand.

The Kitster was a rowdy, rockin' chap,
As those who knew him ne'er have e'er denied,
And tragic as his themes, so too his hap,
In sooth, the legend's yet to be belied:
Ah, Davey, Davey, Davey - Marlowe died.
Was banished to the fires of Hell, I guess,
Assuming they'd accept such sorry mess.

But banished from the realm? As Tarquin was?
For what? By whom? His friends of high estate?
To spare him from himself? I see no cause,
To think this was the great playmaker's fate.
Go to. I think the guy was born too late
To write the works of Shake-speare anyway,
All mostly born before he died, I say.

There is a one, another, that we know,
Who sundry times for reasons right and wrong
Was banished from the court, flat told to go
His ways apart and separate from the throng
About the throne, and so arose a song,
Nay, sev'ral, in lament of said disgrace
You seem to hold as pert'nent to your case.

Well, it seems evident to me that you
Stand ready here to make a crafty speech,
So I will ease back in my cushy pew
To hear the sermon you must needs now preach.
And though I'm sure it's sure to be a reach,
Yet, here's a line wherewith to improvise:
"My friends, 'tis said a bad weed never dies..."

I repied to him in verse today, but since I didn't save it to my hard drive it is currently "out there" in cyberspace via Google newsgroup service, queued for posting.

scuse me, i've got some verse to write.

Friday, August 01, 2003

The Rap of Luke Reese

Here's my attempt at rime royal (iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme: ababbcc . . . More difficult to write than blank verse for me:

From Deptford on the Strand, in desperate haste,
Borne by the end of hope in Christian kings,
Near-death, Kit Marley, so he’d not be chased,
Was sent to France on diplomatic wings,
In a small boat with only a few things.
Since sins of his had got him into trouble,
He had to leave the country on the double.

It happened that the names of atheist,
Blasphemer, sodomite, and such, were down
By Marley’s name on Bishop Whitgift’s list,
Because the poet made the prelate frown,
With speeches on the stage and in the town
In taverns drinking ale, proposing toasts
And jests against the Christ, for which he’d roast.

maybe readers can suggest revisions or additions to my incipient mini-epic: The Rap of Luke Reese. (apparently Luke is a heretofore totally obscure 16th C. poet whom I channel on weekday evenings during prime-time television commercials.)

All 265 stanzas of Rape of Lucrece can be downloaded and read here.