From the Bard’s Words

He grew up a laughing stock
across from the river Avon,
son of a poor tailor.

Clothes make the man.
His father coined the phrase
but shared it not with his son.

The lad had but scraps of cloth
ne’er enough for a pound of flesh,
certainly lacking as he grew.

His mother’s eldest child
cold comfort she gave him,
too busy suckling the youngest ones.

His job, to tend the fire
through cold of winter’s nights,
not easy at that bleak stone hearth.

Stolen bits and scraps of wool
cradled beneath his head at night,
such stuff as dreams are made on.

And each night she came to him
he with heart upon his sleeve,
she in garments weaved of gold.

Her plea to him, always the same.
Steal your father’s coins.
Come what may and flee with me.

Weakened by his love for her,
coins in hand, he fled to nearby woods
expecting to meet beneath the stars.

But all that glitters is not gold
and caught was he within her snare
as she revealed her true self. Devil incarnate.

She took his coins and claimed his soul.
Then, after one kiss upon his anxious lips,
struck him dead.

As good luck would have it,
his body never discovered
decayed within the region’s soil.

And thus it is each spring
he lives again within the greening,
all along the Avon’s shores.

william-shakespeare-62936_1920Day 23 in National Poetry Writing month and the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

At Toads today, we are asked to write a poem inspired by the Bard. All of the bold words/phrases in this post, were first coined by Shakespeare and are now in common use. And of course, Stratford-upon-Avon is the town where Shakespeare was born and buried. 


12 thoughts on “From the Bard’s Words

  1. Susie Clevenger April 23, 2020 / 3:58 pm

    Kudos! This is a wonderful poem of Shakespeare.


  2. sanaarizvi April 23, 2020 / 5:23 pm

    Bravo!! 💝 This is a wonderful tribute to the Bard! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 24, 2020 / 10:32 am

      Thank you! Fun to try and use all those phrases.


  3. Sherry Marr April 23, 2020 / 6:29 pm

    Wow, this is fantastic. The pain of his childhood certainly flowered in a torrent of timeless words when he grew up. Wonderful writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian April 24, 2020 / 10:32 am

      Thank you, Sherry. Very fun to piece together all of his phrases in to one narrative poem!


  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade April 24, 2020 / 3:35 am

    Unlike your previous readers, I didn’t think you meant this to be taken as a story of the Bard himself, despite the location, as all other facts are of course wrong – but I do think it’s a great yarn which Shakespeare himself would have loved to use, and I enjoyed the homage to so many of his phrase which have become part of our currency.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian April 24, 2020 / 10:31 am

      You are correct, Rosemary! It just happens to be set on the shores of Avon, borrowing that location from the Bard, just as I did the phrases. I actually meant for the woman in garments of gold to be a figment of his dreams…who seduced him….who then turns in to the devil. But….I always think it’s interesting how people interpret poems and where the words take them. Glad you enjoyed the tale! It was fun to see how many of his phrases I could include.


  5. kim881 April 24, 2020 / 4:54 am

    You wove into this story of betrayal so many of the Bard’s words which are now part of our daily language, Lill. I like the lines:
    ‘Stolen bits and scraps of wool
    cradled beneath his head at night,
    such stuff as dreams are made on’
    and the happier ending:
    ‘he lives again within the greening,
    all along the Avon’s shores.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 24, 2020 / 10:34 am

      Glad you enjoyed, Kim. It was fun to try and fit in as many lines as I could and still have it be a coherent narrative poem 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kerry April 24, 2020 / 5:02 am

    You wove a spectacular tale of woe.. I thought the lady in question might be Anne Hathaway, seducing young Will and trapping him in a shotgun wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

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