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May 1
BEAUTY O'ERSNOW'D AND BARENESS EVERY WHERE

A Christmas
with the Thames

almost freezing, then
thawing & then again

the London of 1598
asleep

under a quietness
of snow

that hides the world
from itself

as some Elizabetheans
go to steal

a theatre
silent now for a brace of years

frozen by bitter
dispute.

The playhouse dismantled
bit by bit

so that when it rises
it will become in time

The Globe
this wooden O.

Will turns his face
up to the stars

laughs
at this theatre theft

snowflakes settling
upon his eyelids

remembering when
he was all of 7

and the Christian tales
told in stained glass

are shattered
for their sins

now only white light
is to be

let in

picking up a shard
of the ****** Mary

here a fragment of
St. George.

He sticks out his tongue
tastes the snow

knows that
all things change to

begin again.

He laughs.

The ****** Mary's smile
still clasped in his hand.

*

Inspired by JAMES SHAPIRO'S COMPELLING 1599 - A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

The 'theft" of their former theatre,The Theatre, which dismantled would become the famous wooden O. And Will watching( possibly ) when all of seven. . .the stained glass windows of his 'right goodly chapel" been smashed by a glazier who was paid 23 shillings and 8 pence for his smashing. These two images are what burned on in my mind.

I have often stood in that chapel and seen what remains of the whitewashed paintings now brought back to life. His dad had to order this whitewashing months before Will was born but by 7 Will could have been witness to the death of the coloured glass and all that was to be beheld there.

So this Midsummer's Day madness of 1571 really stated with me and forced the poem upon me.

"Popery may creep in at a glass window as well as at a door" as one William Prynne put it. The English Reformation going about its daily task to the dismay of the common folk who had to put up with the religion changing hands and changing hands yet again all in the little time of just over a quarter of a century.

Being a great lover of stained glass and its beauty this was what got me the most!

The title is from Will's Sonnet no. 5:

Those Hours that with gentle work did frame

"Beauty o'er --snowed, and bareness everywhere.
Then were not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, "
***

Inspired by JAMES SHAPIRO'S COMPELLING 1599 - A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

The 'theft" of their former theatre,The Theatre, which dismantled would become the famous wooden O. And Will watching( possibly ) when all of seven. . .the stained glass windows of his 'right goodly chapel" been smashed by a glazier who was paid 23 shillings and 8 pence for his smashing. These two images are what burned on in my mind.

I have often stood in that chapel and seen what remains of the whitewashed paintings now brought back to life. His dad had to order this whitewashing months before Will was born but by 7 Will could have been witness to the death of the coloured glass and all that was to be beheld there.

So this Midsummer's Day madness of 1571 really stated with me and forced the poem upon me.

"Popery may creep in at a glass window as well as at a door" as one William Prynne put it. The English Reformation going about its daily task to the dismay of the common folk who had to put up with the religion changing hands and changing hands yet again all in the little time of just over a quarter of a century.

Being a great lover of stained glass and its beauty this was what got me the most!

The title is from Will's Sonnet no. 5:

Those Hours that with gentle work did frame

"Beauty o'er --snowed, and bareness everywhere.
Then were not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, "
Donall Dempsey
Written by
Donall Dempsey  Guildford
(Guildford)   
43
   L B
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