An Interlude on Stage

Sometimes I indulge in a Shakespeare play session in my DVD collection, and there are effects on my writing which insist on being displayed….


Stage directions:

A group of folk are sitting, forlorn.


The Commentator:


Speaks:                Good-day to you my fellow Wordsmiths

Why these sombre faces?

What halts or confounds your pens?

Have you fallen out to dispute of

Those five particular sisters

Calliope of the wondrous images

Euterpe entrancing with the lyrical dance

Thalia ever humorous and irreverent

Erato sweet purveyor of heart’s feelings

Polyhymnia, solemn in her honoring of the divine


Spokesperson:                    Well for you friend

That you should still be light of heart

Feel all is worth the business

For us, we see no sign of reward

No one beckons us

And heartily cries

‘Come! We would read your words!’

We sit in small dark corners

And none notice, or care

For our efforts.


Commentator:                    My brothers and sisters in authorship

This grieves me greatly

To witness you, victims to the Sly Mischief Maker


The ever-willing herald of The Drudge, Doubt.

This pair delight in stifling any bloom

Would grind the first shoots down

Ere they peer hopeful through the soil.

They are their carping squadrons of dullards

Who would have everyone just as slothful.


Spokesperson:                    Were you an alchemist of literature,

Were you able to turn your words deftly

And display them as nuggets of good news

Then we would cry ‘Hail Our Captain!

‘Lead and we shall follow’

(group nod and murmur)

But friend you are companion to Delusion

For many have travelled by our sorry group

And assailed us with words of good cheer,

Then been on their merry way,

While we sit and watch the words

As leaves, blown this way and that, and lost.


Commentator:                    Friends! Friends! You think I the hapless simpleton?

Then more fool me for brining this false mask to you.

For I am as battered and bruised as any of you.

The silence and the emptiness of no response

This I have passed in many a dreary day.

The careless rejection back so fast as to best Mercury

Has been a common visitor to my desk.

Bearing witness to folk who by deft means and insincere crafting

Have found easy fame and wealth,

A regular event so bothersome and mocking

I at times would have plucked out my eyes

And cried ‘No more! No more. Let me blunder away!’


Yet, the soft and steady the precious call continues,

Awakes within my forlorn breast the urge.

Once more do I walk with unsteady tread

To sit, and with trembling pen or battered device

Willing to answer the far off persisting, yet sweet songs

Which are the very life-milk to inspiration.

From what distant shore or forgotten manse

These hymns of summoning arise I cannot say.

And yet must follow with increasing pace

Made light by the sudden dance in my heart,

As once more the words begin to leave my head

To find form and juncture upon paper or screen.


Thus, Friends I do not give you any bright promises.

I would not insult you with happy quips about success

No, I do call you to a more daunting task

To bid you to arise from these sloughs in which you lie.

To stagger once more unto the field

Answering to the barely heard music.

Readying to forge on across unhelpful lands

Giving flight to the words which sit restless

Ever eager to spring forth through the despondency.


For you dear Friends. You the many small candles,

Would light dark places with your myriad words

Could raise a spirit or two with your images and messages

Might bring forth another to take up the sane road.

And would that not be worth more than easy coin

Come by shallow capering and tawdry lines overused?

Your acts and your endeavours though mayhap seeming small

Are as valuable as any roaring efforts of Titans

When truth be revealed, when all bluster is gone

The victories were won by the small individuals

Who in serried ranks forced the issue.


Now, guided by those ephemeral strains you know well,

Reach for your ever-present flints

Strike upon the stones of resolution,

Light those blessed candles, raise them higher.

Stride out once more, not seeking reward,

But to bring form unto thought and depth to your dreams.

For you are as valuable as any who claims the prize.

For you are of the very lifeblood which is Humanity’s Hope.

You are creators, you are bringers of songs and tales

You fill up the world with wonders and colours.

You have been chosen. You have been summoned.

And I will ever be glad of your company.

Be that in rags and in places where the Great do not go.

And I would be proud of your efforts, though they trample mine.

For you, each and every one- The Writers. The Artists.

Badges which none can tear from your jackets and coats.


Ah, but I have spoken far too long, have been a distraction!

Away with you now to your favour’d places, steel your resolve.

For you have a World to Enrich and thus save.

Go you warriors.

Heedless of rewards.

The Muses are beckoning you.

And when you stand upon your summit

You will look down into the vale

Being able to say, with determination

‘I created! I did achieve!’



Commentator exits….



The ending dear reader is in your hands.

                                           Good fortune to you.

                                           Never, ever give up with your writing.         


25 thoughts on “An Interlude on Stage

    1. Thanks Jill.
      My time as a counter and shuffler of beans was not all ill-spent. I suspect it was my fate.
      I’ve not long been watching the BBC’s second series The Hollow Crown which compacts Henry VI (parts 1,2 & 3-ish) along with Richard III and this has been bouncing about in my head ever since.
      Glad to be dispensing motivation (and of course…. chuckles)
      Ps- Got your e-mail, will do it justice with a proper reply in the next two days- (head bounce, y’know how it goes…..)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m biased but your style more than makes up for all the Shake a Spear I could never understand when memorizing sonnets and chunks (and I do mean chunks) of MacBeth. “Is this a dagger I see before me?” Well, is it, or isn’t it? The part about the forest coming to Dunsinane was kind of lame and so much melodramatic introversion: do it and be done already! This was a fun read… but I’m not going to memorize it, sorry! Well, maybe except for these two remarkable lines:

    As once more the words begin to leave my head To find form and juncture upon paper or screen.

    That’ll make the Bard turn over in his grave.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Sha’ Tara for your kind words.
      One of the great legacies Shakespeare left for future generations is that scholars and critics can make a good living out of dissecting every word. And why not? Tremendous fun!
      Sheila’s pet question for Othello is why does the guy belief Iago so easily!
      Mine is ‘Hamlet! Get on with it already!’
      If you every find a cheap copy of Richard Armour’s ‘Twisted Tales From Shakespeare’, snap it up. It was written in the 1950s and the humour does not grow old!
      (On reflection I think I must credit Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Aurturo Ui- and the Roma character who sometimes delivers poetical Shakespeare style lines)


      1. He was an professor of English and back in the 1950s & 60s wrote a series of humorous books, a number of them takes on history under the series ‘It All Started With…’ I found them in the American Humour section of our local library when I was 14/15 and in the last few years have become reacquainted with them.
        He was one of the inspirations in my re-writing of British History.


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