On Retreating across the English Channel
Let me confess that we two must be twain,
I summon up remembrance of things past:
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
Thy fame hast not the power to make love groan.
What mean the world to say it is not so,
Now the full star that ushers in the even
Revenge upon myself with present moan?
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
And losing her, my friend has found that loss
Against myself a hurtful plan. Commence
Where thou are forced to break a twofold truth
In things right true. My heart and eyes have erred
That all the world besides me thinks y’are dead.
© Martin Porter 2016
This is a “Brexit” poem, constructed from Shakespeare’s sonnets by taking respective lines from pseudo-random sonnets, but without respect to the punctuation.
This poem was written as an exercise. The method was chosen to reflect the attempted reconstruction of a nation’s past history by retreating to iconic emblems of that nation’s past culture. I chose Shakespeare’s sonnets for their iconic status, selecting lines from the “Fair Boy” sonnets for the first quatrain, the “Dark Lady” sonnets for the second quatrain, the “ambiguous” sonnets for the third sonnet and a random selection for the couplet.