Doffing my hat to the Bard

Today I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Doffing my hat to the Bard

O! how I faint when I of you do write

So all my best is dressing old words new

The perfect ceremony of love’s rite

Incapable of more, replete with you!

You should live twice,–in it, and in my rhyme

Since all alike my songs and praises be

When in the chronicle of wasted time

Those lines that I before have writ do lie!

Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth

To speak of that which gives thee all thy might

Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,

Why is my verse so barren of new pride!

Knowing thy heart torment me with disdain,

Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain.

(This entire sonnet is made up of lines from various sonnets by Shakespeare. I had thought it would be easy but I have been toiling for hours reading and picking suitable lines! If you like it, you know who gets the credit, if it is lacking in any way, you can lay the blame squarely at my door!)

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57 thoughts on “Doffing my hat to the Bard

  1. This is absolutely brilliant, the effort put in, and the knowledge of Shakespeare neither of which I could ever manage. I must confess I never read Shakespeare and my knowledge of his plays is limited to Vishal Bhardwaj movies, this poem seemed literary but I confess more, I didn’t understand all the lines 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Though I can’t take any credit except rearranging various lines from over a hundred and fifty sonnets written by him. It took a lot of time to do so. The napowrimo very thoughtfully provided a link to his anthology. Some I had read before, some I hadn’t. Shakespeare is the one who got me interested in poetry. We studied him in school and had excellent teachers. Moreover we memorized monologues from his plays for elocution. Oops! I could go on and on! 😀

      Like

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