Mrs Shakespeare Plots (revision3)

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.
Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Mrs Shakespeare Plots (revision3)

Post by Macavity » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:37 am

revision3

With this phial a subtle closure
to her contempt. Pride hugs itself.
In that beggared, so ragged toad -
the apothecary - I will trust.
An ounce of civet is enough
to sweeten her, a drop of henbane
for peace. A redolent demise.
Her conceit goads me on to act.

She is lust-blind. I'll shed all shame
and laud mischief with this potion.
No rapier thrust for her tonight,
let black be fair in pleasing grief.
From this dark lady nothing more.
He will discard that cloth with me.




revision2


With this phial a subtle closure
to his contempt. I'll be not proud.
In that beggared, so ragged toad -
the apothecary - I will trust.

An ounce of civet is enough
to sweeten him, and hebenon
for peace. A redolent demise.
His conceit goads me on to act.

I'll brag in whispers, be not loud,
and laud mischief with this potion.
He will not know for he's lust-blind.
No rapier thrust from him tonight.

In solitude let pleasing grief
be shed, discard that cloth, and sleep.



=============================================================

revision

With this phial a subtle closure
for all contempt. Though pride is vain,
that toad-spotted, so ragged
apothecary I will trust.

An ounce of civet is enough
for distraction, and hebenon
for peace. An elegant deceit.
His conceit goads poison to act.

I'll brag in whispers, be not loud,
and laud mischief with this potion.
He will not glean for he's lust blind
with haste. No rapier thrust tonight.

In solitude let pleasing grief
be shed, discard that cloth, and sleep.


original

I'll brag in whispers, be not loud,
and laud mischief with this potion.
He should glean, but he's lust blind
with haste. No rapier thrust tonight.

With this phial a subtle closure
to all contempt. Pride hugs itself.
That toad-spotted, so ragged
apothecary I will trust.

An ounce of civet is enough
for distraction, and hebenon
for peace. An elegant deceit.
Conceit shall goad poison to act.

In solitude let pleasing grief
be shed, discard that cloth, and sleep.
Last edited by Macavity on Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:52 am, edited 40 times in total.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Arranged

Post by David » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:33 am

You seem to have gone all Shakespearean, Mac - or Websterian? - but in tetrameter. Which is interesting.

I can hear echoes of individual plays, but see no direct parallels. Yet. Will mull.

David

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Arranged

Post by David » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:34 am

Actually, I think the title is more significant than I realised at first. But how?

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Arranged

Post by Macavity » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:19 am

Hello David. How are you? I wouldn't spend too much time on this nonsense. The fun was dipping into my Shakespeare DVD's :) Any chance of a David poem coming to PG soon? :D

all the best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Perfidy

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:51 am

.
Hi mac,
ok. Sonnet or not Sonnet, that is the ... Working backwards from hebenon unravels this mystery (I hope), but 'civet' (being from perfume) seems misleading (but there's 'that cloth', so maybe not). I might be getting entangled in the mechanism, but enjoyably so. Like the new title.

Main suggestion is moving S1 to S3 (S2, S3, S1, S4) and changing S4 from the passive 'let' to something more active (in keeping with 'I'll brag')


With this phial a subtle closure
- I think this make for a much stronger opening,
and establishes the action more clearly.
to all contempt. Pride hugs itself.
- not sure whose 'pride' but like these two lines.
That toad-spotted, so ragged
apothecary I will trust.

- like the image, don't like the phrasing, maybe
........ Pride hugs itself
and I shall trust all to that
toad-spotted apothecary
?

An ounce of civet is enough
for distraction, and hebenon

- not buying 'distraction' - isn't the purpose of civet here to insure an inhalation? (to buy that breath ?) Capitalise 'Hebenon'
for peace. An elegant deceit.
- maybe something more 'aromatic' than 'elegant'?
Conceit shall goad poison to act.
- not following this. 'Conceit goads' how?

I'll brag in whispers, be not loud,
- confused by the ambiguity here. Is 'be not loud' what is whispered' or just a restatement of 'whispers'? Would have preferred
I'll brag in whispers, laud mischief
with this potion ...

and laud mischief with this potion.
He should glean, but he's lust blind

- Why 'should he glean'? Hardly in keeping with 'subtle closure' or 'elegant deceit'. 'Lust blind' is excellent.
Why not
He'll not glean for he's lust blind ?
with haste. No rapier thrust tonight.

In solitude let pleasing grief
be shed, discard that cloth, and sleep.

- Weakest part, for me' though 'discard ... sleep' is excellent. Where is N here?
Just a suggestion
White mourning's veil I'll timely cast/draw/set
aside, discard that cloth and sleep.



Regards, Not

.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Perfidy (revision)

Post by Macavity » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:32 pm

Thanks Not. I very much like that structural suggestion. For once I will not dither. I've attempted to clarify some of the narrative.

best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Perfidy (revision)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:56 pm

.
Hi mac,

I think the revision makes for a much 'clearer' read, but still struggling with 'All pride is vain' (in part because it makes for a bit of a stop/start
start) Purely because I keep reading it that way, how about 'be' for 'is' (L4) ? :) and might L3 run into L4?
apothecary I will trust,

an ounce of civet be enough
for distraction ..
. (shame you can't have a modifier for Hebnon).
Still not sure how 'so ragged' relates to 'trust'. Wouldn't it argue against trust?

? His conceit goads this poison act

'redolent' for 'elegant'?

And finally ... that final couplet ... (not sure about 'veil' for the more incriminating 'cloth') but how about ...

Let pleasing grief be shed, discard
that veil and sleep in solitude.



Regards, Not

.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Perfidy (revision)

Post by Macavity » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:14 pm

You tempt me with a comma? Okay then :) I'll run with the poetic redolent too. Cloth is back.

Some passages sourced...
Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination. (Lear Act 4 Scene 6
Apothecary

Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law
Is death to any he that utters them.

Romeo

Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back;
The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law,
The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.

R&J Act 5 Scene1
cheers

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Perfidy (revision)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:26 pm

.
Hi mac.

Always nice to show one's workings.
Greatly enjoying discovering how both quotes offer different readings to the piece. Thanks.

Down from the waist they are centaurs, though women all above.
But to the girdle do the gods inherit; beneath is all the fiends'.


versus

be not poor, but break it

Did wonder if the contempt of L2 should be mutual ('our')?
I can see why you've gone for 'toad-spotted' (Macbeth and the Amazon)
but 'beggary' (with 'ragged') is such a nice word.

Also did you play with 'prick'd' (as it were) rather than 'goads'?
Reading aloud, I thought the /ee/s of peace/deceit/conceit were a bit too close together.
(poison, prick'd by conceit, doth act)

There's also
with haste. Tonight, no rapier thrust.
(which sounds a bit better to my ear.)

Regards, Not


ps Had you seen this?
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20140416-do-shakespeares-poisons-work


.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Perfidy (revision)

Post by Macavity » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:40 am

Thanks for that link Not. Most interesting. The poem is poor. but at least it has progressed with your help. Appreciated. I shall leave the tinkering for now, though may pick up on some of your suggestions in future.

all the best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:01 pm

Macavity wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:40 am
I shall leave the tinkering for now
Like the title change and 'plots' in particular.

Perhaps 'sweeten' for 'distract' and 'spurs' for 'goads'? Though 'goads' then 'boast' (instead of 'brag') might work? Also, 'I'll laud ...' ?

Not keen on losing 'lust-blind' (thought that was stronger in the earlier versions).

Still not getting 'my pride is vain' ... help! (and you don't need the comma after 'vain'.)
On the understanding that I'm not understanding that line, treat this suggestion (and the returning toad) with the requisite amount of salt

With this phial a subtle closure
to his contempt. I'll stopper pride
and in that ragged, toad-spotted
apothecary place my trust.

One ounce of civet prove enough
to sweeten him, and Hebenon
...



Regards, Not


.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:15 am

Thanks Not. Pleased you like the title - I do too! I've restored and tweaked. I like to create/hear a soundscape in poems so I kept the hard 'g' sonics.

all the best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:40 pm

.
Hi mac,
enjoying the title even more today. Takes everything up a notch or seven. Did you think about using a spelling from one of his early signatures? Mrs. Shaksper had potential I thought :)

Wanted to draw this echoic possibility to you attention ...

With this phial a subtle closure
to his contempt. I'll be not proud
and in that beggared, ragged
apothecary place my trust
...
...

His conceit goads me on to act

to boast in whispers. I'll be not loud
nor laud mischief with this potion
He'll never know ...


Regards, Not

.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by David » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:51 pm

Ah. Very good title change. I think what was going on was unguessable before - it was for me, at least. (I'm still not sure that the body - erk, n.p.i. - of the poem delivers what the title promises, but at least now the intention is clear.)

Cheers

David

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:29 am

Thanks Not. and David.
enjoying the title even more today. Takes everything up a notch or seven.
Yes, it does promise much - as David says - added some lines to the body, hopefully not opaque ones :D

all the best

mac

User avatar
JJWilliamson
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3297
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:20 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:39 am

I must admit it took me a couple of reads before the plot unfolded for me. The title change helped enormously
and there is a Shakespearean feel to this. It's always difficult to write in the style of a particular period yet still
maintain that modern flavour. You seem to have overcome that problem well imho.

I know I'm probably missing something but who is this scheming aimed at and why? Surely not old Will! :)

This is written, for the most part, in strict iambic tetrameter but there are two lines that caught my eye
for their departure from the set meter, notably S1L3, where 7 syllables and a feminine ending disrupt the flow
a tad (not terribly so), IE /in THAT/ BEGGared/, so RAGG/ed, giving three feet. It's possible you're stressing IN.

Then there's S2 L4, where the stresses imply an opening pyrrhic foot followed by a spondee (giving a double iamb),
then two iambs. IE /His con/CEIT GOADS/ me ON/ to ACT/, which for me is a delightfully complex line. Alternatively,
it could read /HIS con/CEIT GOADS/ me ON/ to ACT - troche/spondee/iamb/iamb/. This still gives you four clear feet,
even though you end up with five stresses. However, a fifty-fifty split on iambs and substitutions is at the limit, given
the fine use of accentual meter. It's okay by me, though. :)

A really enjoyable poem that just falls short on the narrative for my dithering brain.

Enjoyed

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:56 am

Hi JJ.
In is indeed Will :D Hopefully, the concluding lines will nudge that intention.

notably S1L3, where 7 syllables and a feminine ending disrupt the flow
a tad (not terribly so), IE /in THAT/ BEGGared/, so RAGG/ed, giving three feet. It's possible you're stressing IN.
I did quite like the original ragged line - it paced nicely to the inversion in L4... in my ear...which obviously needs some soap and water...I've tweaked.
opening pyrrhic foot followed by a spondee (giving a double iamb),
then two iambs. IE /His con/CEIT GOADS/ me ON/ to ACT/,
Pleased you enjoyed the outcome of that combo.

all the best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:07 pm

.
Hi mac,
reads more like actual suicide than wishful homicide, now. Or perhaps it's just me.

Regards, Not

.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:31 pm

That's disappointing Not. I presume you got the ref. to the Dark Lady sonnets?

best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:29 pm

.
Hi mac.

Yes, got that ref. But it made me read it as N (now the DL herself, and presuming she's S's mistress
- "Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black" ) has been rejected by him (the old trope, he's not
leaving his wife) and decides on self-slaughter. 'Raven eyes' referring to herself (and perhaps
impending death) and 'dark lady' becomes 'Hebenon' ('heben' being, acc to wiki, a word for ebony,
from Latin hebenus).
But likely I've just wandered well off the beaten track (ignoring the, so recently praised, title) :)

Regards, Not


.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:54 pm

Fair enough Not. I've axed the extra confusion :)

best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:59 pm

Macavity wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:54 pm
I've axed the extra confusion
How very Elizabethan of you. :)

(Might be worth waiting for other opinions though)

Regards, Not



.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by David » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:07 pm

I didn't notice the reference to the sonnets. Haven't looked at them for a while. Certainly the closing couplet does seem quite like himself, so if that's all you, well done.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Plots

Post by Macavity » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:49 am

Thanks for coming back David. I'd cut those lines because they were causing confusion.

all the best

mac

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Mrs Shakespeare Schemes After Reading Will's Dark Lady Sonnets

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:25 pm

.
Hi mac.
The title's doing a lot of work now, and maybe struggling under the strain?
Would After She Read His Dark Lady Sonnets work?

Too many dashes in S1. (Cutting the first 'so' might make for a smoother read?)

With this phial a subtle closure
to his contempt. I'll be not proud
and in that beggared, so ragged toad,
the apothecary I will trust.



Regards, Not


.

Post Reply