My daughters Shakespeare verse....

November 23, 2007

When she was young, my daughter regularly wrote for a children’s magazine called Target, which was a very good magazine (however, it later became very urbanized and westernized and I wonder if it still exists… I know Tinkle is one magazine that is still going strong here.)

Here’s her effort to write like Shakespeare..that’s the page, followed by the text…this was written in August 1995, when she was fourteen years old…

Tragedy of Education AM poem Target Aug 1995 231107

Everyone is familiar with Shaekspeare. In fact, students studying for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and the Indian School Certificate have the pleasure of studying one of his plays.

As an ISC student, I was forcing myself, during the holidays, to stay away from the sun and the cloudless skies. Tying myself to my study table, I began my attempt at making sense of “Twelfth Night”. Each line I read only confirmed my belief that the great man found time to pursue his literary activities just after either his daily exercise (which must’ve included standing upside down) or after his weekly “Headbanger’s Ball”, both of which would ensure that the contents of his head were not quite in perfect order at the time.

After little more than a page, the contents of my head seemed to me to be in very similar shape to those of his when he began writing the play. In other words, I was all set(like the great man himself) to pen my own deathless lines.

Taking inspiration from the Arden edition of Shakespeare, I wrote something for Target which includes references and footnotes. Without which, like the real thing, it would seem nonsensical…


Act XII, Scene I

1 Marry, ‘tis but the black pages That keep mine hungry feet from Th’ element 4 O, but if mine wanton hands could but sense those curves of carrot hue And soar ‘t above the eyes of all For ‘t but to sink again 7 Semblative any piece on this greedy ground, compassed by the fishy circle 8 And the ring repeated till rest required


1 Marry, ‘tis but…: Yes/Alas

black pages: It is studies. Black refers to the colour of the print and the pun is on black being a colour of mourning or evil.

Hungry feet: longing/yearning (to set the feet upon), for wanting

Element : The earth, ground or the field

4 Wanton hands : As in hands that want

Sense: Hold, touch

Curves of carrot hue: Sphere of orange colour, i.e. basketball

Soar: Throw up high

Above the eyes: May refer to both “high up” and “with all eyes on it”.

Sink : Fall

7 Semblative: OED (Old English Dictionary) definition as “similar to/ like”

Piece: Any object

Greedy ground: Alliteration. Reference is to gravity due to which the Earth lets nothing go (Rf. Greedy). “Greedy” may be a modification of the word gravity.

Compassed: Encircled by

Fishy Circle Refers to fishermen’s nets..netted ring, i.e., basketball hoop

8 ring: Cycle/Process

Ring repeated till rest required: This fine piece of alliteration suggests that the process is repeated till it becomes too tiring to continue.

It made me laugh then, and it makes me laugh now…