#123: On Shakespeare’s Birthday


Harold Bloom
said that Shakespeare
invented the human.
Bloom’s a blowhard
pretty much but
I think in this case
he might be right.
What writer in English
before Shakespeare
anticipated Freud
and Jung, fleshed
out all the archetypes,
captured the various
loves and hates and
the myriad mental states
and the thousand natural
shocks that flesh is
heir to? No one.
And no one has
done it better
since.  Sure,
Shakespeare stole
a lot of material–
none of his subjects
emerged entirely
from his own imaginative
territory–but those lines,
all those words, that
richness, that wisdom;
almost every
possible thought
can be found
there somewhere
in the deep, deep
landscape of his plays.
So, happy 450th, Bill;
your work so much
a part of me now,
I feel, in fact, and often,
almost invented.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

3 thoughts on “#123: On Shakespeare’s Birthday

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