#164: O Miranda

pick a card, any card
pick a card, any card
I got this one
I got this one

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!  
How beauteous mankind is!  O brave new world, 
That has such people in’t.

O Miranda

O Miranda,
I, too, have known tempests;
I, too, have been separated from a father;
I, too, know the feeling
of beauty, goodness, or courage
creeping through a bit at a time
or exploding off the page
or in the room or with lovers
on the beach or on a stage
where in London I saw
Vanessa Redgrave play
Prospero as a woman,
or where, last week, in Portland I saw
Twelfth Night, in which a man
in drag played Olivia, a man
dressed as a woman who falls in love
with a woman disguised as a man
and why the hell not?
O brave new world!
How beauteous is mankind!
How many goodly creatures indeed!

Here’s the initial free-write:

O Miranda, I too have known Tempests; I too have been separated from a father; I too know the feeling, rare as it is, of looking around in wonder at whatever it is that presents itself, beauteous, goodly, brave, because there has to be moments like that, right, where we can look beyond the general depravity or dishonesty or downright decrepitude of the human condition and see these moments kind of creeping through a little bit at a time, and then just kind of exploding off the page or in the room or on the beach or wherever the Tempest has tossed you where you might encounter the thing the thing the most spectacular aspects, the most redeeming qualities, only the goodly, the good, not the bad or the ugly, or I suppose, that in these moments even the ugly might seem lovely but that’s hard for people generally speaking isn’t it, finding beauty in the plain, the mundane, the unattractive, but that’s not what Miranda is talking about.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this play but outside of its original context it seems to me to be this pure expression of gratitude and thankfulness.  I don’t know, has it been five minutes?  Has it been five minutes?  I’m not sure what else to say. I remember seeing this play in London with Vanessa Redgrave as Prospero–a gender bender production just like the one I recently saw of Twelfth Night where Olivia was played by a man in drag and I was thinking, sure, he’s beautiful and I wouldn’t kick him out of the bedroom but I don’t know, I think I’m just saying that because it was the first thing that came into my head as I was thinking about the guy dressed as a woman attracted to a woman disguised as a man and I guess that’s a little bit shocking.

Here’s today’s inspiration from http://www.napowrimo.net:

“Today, I challenge you to take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (regular playing cards, tarot cards, uno cards, cards from your “Cards Against Humanity” deck – whatever), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Now, begin free-writing based on the card you’ve chosen. Keep going without stopping for five minutes. Then take what you’ve written and make a poem from it.”

Published by michaeljarmer

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

3 thoughts on “#164: O Miranda

  1. Nice! Smiling at the man in drag playing a woman falling in love with a woman disguised as a man…that about sums up love in this period of human existence.

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