Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — Shakespeare Writes His Wife

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
William Shakespeare — Born in April. Died in April.

I roamed today
and saw the sovereign.

Sweet wife, she is such as we;
do you remember our long walk,
when the banns were published,
and a lark was startled into flight?

She is such, save this:
there is but one of her on wing.

Her train wound past;
a mother with a newborn
rushed to her carriage.

On the instant,
swords were drawn.

The lighted bird
stopped them with a finger.

Good wife,
the mother held an infant
formed to bask in higher fields.

Gloriana leaned and,
both hands on the toddler’s head,
whispered to the parent.

Gallants stared
at what a country man
knew at once.

Here was a chick
being given drink.

Sweet, is she not as we,
when you nest alone
and I lay below an eave?


— Charles Bane, Jr.


Charles Bane Jr. puts himself in the shoes of The Bard of Avon and wins us with this springtime poem. Appropriate that we run Shakespeare Writes His Wife on the week of his birth (or at least his baptism) April 26, 1564, and the week of his death — April 23, 1616. No stranger to Shakespeare, Charles interest in the greatest English writer is also captured in a flash essay entitled, What Do We Know About Shakespeare? that previously ran in these pages.

Shakespeare Writes His Wife is the latest installment in the serialization of Charles' 2011 volume of poetry The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor). Part of a year-long journey, where we share and explore Charles' other passion — his poetry — with you, our readers, twice monthly.

Charles is also the author of Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work has been described in the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." He created the Meaning of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project and is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. A new collection of poetry, The Ends Of The Earth is currently taking shape. 

We thank Charles for his continuing contributions and wish him well in the publishing of a collection of short fiction entitled, For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Sequel And Other Stories.