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a poetic description

As I embark upon this quest

I decided to aim in the fashion of poetry.

The work in question is a painting from 

“The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare”

The painting depicts the three witches from


“Double, double, toil, and trouble,”

Page turn, cradle caress the spine,

O,thrice of then play three divine,

Prophetic insurrection by

Tongues of three old men be them.

Hags as they had been described by

The tyrant king, Macbeth.

The black smoke depicts wicked scenes

For wicked ways, these three be

More kin to Gandalf than

The Sisters three.

Thus marked the times

For then three women wouldn’t be

Upon the oak and place of scene.


During the reign of King James, witches were

Condemned, hunted, burned, died beneath

The weight of the crown.

And now, a page within a book depicts the fiction

Created to display the fear of a man

Born of superstition and misogyny,

Deemed the art of witchery the devil’s work and thus

Those thought to have succumbed to the Wicken

Met their doom.


Parchment crisp and beige,

Complete with brown stains,

Likely from water, archival keep sake

For such a journey, one would think

Of the parcel lost to the sands of time

And yet, of this work, I spy

Depictions of malice, horizons of bold

Blackened skies that dawn the page

Like a dollar bill the fabric is,

The texture harsh and coarse, like scales

That slither the land. The plumes fly,

Assaulting the sky. The ground these three reside

Have burnt a ring for which the witches three

Do conjure and defy shortly before the words

“A drum, a drum, Macbeth doth come.”  

Additional pieces from this book

William Shakespeare. The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare. London: W. Bulmer, Shakespeare Printing Office, 1802.

Special Collections, Rare and Distinctive Collections


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