Golden Inheritance ( A Poetic Review Of Who Are You William Shakespeare By Alain English)

Hey Readers

When a show makes you re-examine a long held belief then it has to be viewed as a success. This year I was lucky enough to attend such a show, during my adventures at this year’s Edinburgh festival fringe .

The show in question was Who Are You William Shakespeare by Alain English and this is my poetic tribute to this game changing piece of theatre which has opened my mind to the fact that Shakespeare may not be one man but a collective of writers who wrote under a safe name to get their works on to the stage and eventually in to publication.

Now before any Shakespeare fans condemn my train of thought, just think how wonderful it would be if Shakespeare was not one man but the first underground cultural movement in the world. When I was given the leaflet for this show on the last Monday in May at Last Monday At Cafe Rio which coincidentally is where I’ll be going tonight for my post fringe poetry event of the year, I had never given much thought to the idea that the man we have always known or at least assumed to be William Shakespeare not actually be the author of the works we call Shakespearian or that it could be someone else entirely or even as I’ve said a collection of authors but after attending the show I now have a very different opinion. You this show didn’t just change my mind it blew my mind.
Golden Inheritance

The questioner asked who Shakespeare really was
In the same way 
a child wants to know
the true identity of Santa Claus
was this man so often touted as the greatest bard these islands have ever produced
who history claims him to be
if so why is there no proof
he was even a writer
and why did he say he did not want to be remembered for posterity
I ask just as the questioner has
because this show opened my mind to possibility
that it could be an identity
to be used by a group of writers
for a myriad of reasons
from promoting gender equality
to avoiding treason
this explanation could help the Shakespearian understand
the variety of the work
as there voluminous volumes
of poetry,  sonnets , and plays
yet the man who coined the phrase
all the world’s a stage and the people merely players
was at no time noted
for any creativity let alone artistic flair
his original monument didn’t even show him with a quill
to me this would arouse suspicions that our Will
was not who we believe him to be
what you see may not be as be as you think
but it will be as you like it
Personally I find it exciting
that Shakespeare may be a collective group
a theatrical troop of radicals
who wanted to speak in the language of the people
to promote a better understanding of the times
In which they lived
Mid Summer Night’s Dream
Hamlet, and Merchant Of Venice
all contained menacing messages
to the establishment of the day
and Romeo and Juliet warned of the dangers of love between feuding families
there was talk of female power, and of sexual desires
the church and state
would not want you to know about
so why does the matter
detractors would say Shakespeare was just a medieval patter merchant
of his day
and there opinion is valid
though it is one with which I don’t agree
you see Shakespeare matters
because much of the language we use
is wrapped in his frame of his reference
that is the legacy this bard
left us
it has literary and linguistic merit
it is a golden inheritance
and why I would prefer it
if Shakespeare was not one man
but an underground cultural collective
it would give a new perspective
to this discussion
after the show I was buzzing
I wanted to read more sonnets
renew my acquaintance with the plays
because if the world is indeed a stage
we only see the actors
and good as they are
they can only partially enlighten us
to get the real story
we need to know the writers.

@ Gayle Smith 2016


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