Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Monday, April 23, 2018

An Antic Disposition

It always seems to me that a kind of madness takes over the toads during the month of April, as many of us attempt to write 30 poems in 30 days. We get to the fourth week and wonder why we set ourselves such an insurmountable task to begin with.

Since today is the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth and death, I have delved into the archives to read up on what he had to say about madness... a favoured theme in several plays and poems. I came across an interesting article, to be found HERE for those who are interested. I have also provided a few memorable quotes, but they are by no means prescriptive.

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet (1948)

Hamlet:

But come—
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd some'er I bear myself—
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on—

Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 168 - 172



Theseus:

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact.

Midsummer Night's Dream Act 5, scene 1, 4 - 8



Macbeth:

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Macbeth Act 5, scene 3, 40–45


Our focus for this prompt is The Mind: those troubles of the brain, shaping fantasies and antic dispositions which make us human.


14 comments:

Kim Russell said...

Happy birthday to Shakespeare and I hope everyone has a great start to the week. Thank you for the prompt, Kerry, and for the quotes about the mind. I was put in mind of King Lear but then they became something else! I've finally caught up with the Toads prompts and will hopefully stay on track for a while. Exam season has started, so I am currently wearing my examiner's hat and will be until July - that's demented!

Cressida de Nova said...

Thank you for this interesting article and tribute to the Bard.
Happy Birthday Wills !

Anonymous said...

Great prompt Kerry. I went light and funny this morning due to the impending doom felt by my mind when I said...'Shall we?';) Getting caught up on reading and commenting slowly. What a month!!!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Loved the prompt, Kerry!­čĺť Sharing my poem 'Of madness and fragile things'.. Day 23! Phew!☕

brudberg said...

This one is a great one... I will put on my thinking cap...

Toni Spencer said...

Mwahahahaaaa. Excellent prompt Kerry. Madness indeed. Thank you.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

What a fascinating coincidence that Shakespeare was born and died on the same date (or very close, as even those who question his birth date admit).

Alas, my poem is not very Shakespearian.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I am running bit late today.. blue Monday.. and haven't even an idea for my own prompt. I will try to catch up this evening.
Thanks for the responses so far.
:-)

Margaret said...

I too have a couple of days to catch up visiting and commenting - we just got over a theatre weekend - the musical Cinderella and it was magical :) My daughters were Cinderella and a step sister. I hope to share some footage and photos with you here at the Garden. I'll be back later tonight to comment and visit.

L C Folks said...

A great ,prompt, close to home. I love quotes from Shakespeare, always amazed how pertinent they are.

brudberg said...

Ok.. I feel mad enough now... will do catchup and reading soon :-)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hi kids, a gorgeous day here on the West Coast. I didnt have to look far for material for this post, sad to say. I look forward to reading everyone's responses.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the prompt! I just filled it in with my crazy.

willow_switches said...

thanks for hosting Kerry - and a very interesting prompt to play with! Wow - I love these rich mine fields.

Sorry I'm late, as are so many running about in this madness, clearly March has spilled her skirts into April, and so it is - but we shall just take it one day at a time, and keep on moving forward.

Happy penning all, I'll catch up as best I can.