By William Shakespeare
For this new version, first released in 1971, Ted Hughes augmented his unique choice of Shakespeare's poems and dramatic speeches and fully rewrote his accompanying essay, aspiring to fix to the typical reader a lot of what, in Shakespeare, used to be instinctively to be had to the viewers of his day, and to teach how Shakespeare's language unites in its sinews and substance the total diversity of Elizabethan preoccupations, philosophical and social.
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Additional info for A Choice of Shakespeare's Verse
And Buddy's feet will tickle the clouds, and he'll dance and dance. And after the gates are opened to him, he'll dance down golden streets, his toes and heels tapping the gold, and the angel with the jug will follow him, and so will Jesus. And Buddy will dance and keep dancing and dance for them all. And the hard, cold gold will not bruise his feet for they will be like air, and Buddy will dance for what would be hours and hours if watches ran in heaven and heaven ran on time. And other angels Page 17 will find themselves jugs, and archangels will lay down their horns and pick up fiddles to play along with Jesus playing for Buddy.
Jesus, the things she did to those boys when she wore sweaters and did her hair like that! When they slept, they thought of her naked and limp, her muscles turned to mud, thought of themselves over her Page 39 giggling like their grandfathers; thought of rich barns and kitchens, the denseness of corn, thick acres with ears bursting open spilling dimes into their pockets; thought of crops they'd harvest as easily as girls. And breasts and thighs, damp deep triangles of hair, bright pails of cream, and hooves thick with glue, whole boxcars of marbled meat, and fat as white as milk flowed in and out of their sleep, blending and rising like the rank, rich silage they could always smell, they could always taste on the backs of their teeth.
She stood where now slouches a droning tour leader. Cameras go off, snap the scene randomly, frame it in thin rectangular memory. The world's ruined center mirrors now the heart's: no longer does Doric discipline define Page 69 or tolerance mold discourse or the arts to question our measure and design. No oracles rise in blessings to ease these days, days only fit for elegies. Page 70 For a Friend Whose Son Committed Suicide There aren't any words to help us live. The days treat us like drunken husbands.
A Choice of Shakespeare's Verse by William Shakespeare