To my fellow poets,
for William Shakespeare
Discredit all that you will read about me.
Treasonous hands have bestowed difficult words
which even this immortal life cannot contain.
A life that could be credited to the entirety of
the dictionary, as I had intentionally rewritten
the English language.
And now those same words are accusatory.
Those of you who felt the sharp prick on Sonnet feet,
you knew that it was not true.
You knew without aid.
Intent, I was, to light the lamp.
Intent, I was, to lead.
So what of this man, Francis Bacon, you discuss?
In this meeting of true minds do you still distrust?
Take only my words, would you.
You wish I would make you privy to
the years 1585 through 1592?
- “to escape prosecution for deer poaching.”
- “minding the horses of theatre patrons in London.”
- “or that I might have been a country schoolmaster.”
Is a man not entitled to some secrecy?
There are some things even a Catholic schoolboy will not confess.
What of the hearsay?
My fellow poets.
They say we cannot be playwrights.
They say we cannot be storytellers.
But four hundred years prior, I had proven them wrong.
So what say they now?
And yes it is so, that I had said
“all the world's a stage,
and one man in his time plays many parts...”
So cast the final role, you in charge of my documentation.
What part now do you wish me to play?