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