Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…
Where do Ideas come from?
Part Six: Anger
Was that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford?
He seemed most vexed, leaving at a gallop.
He almost bowled me about our wooden Globe
And skittled me into the King’s players.
Aye! It was that same accursed noble
Who nobbles the very word noble,
Making noble a curse, noble a fool.
He would ask history to usurp me
And replace my lowly Arden smiles
With his over-born, glass-gazing visage.
Like a leech, he came to draw out my soul
To bite at secrets of inspiration.
Tell. How did you answer his entreaties?
At first I said naught, spilled over with spite.
Then I collected my cruellest curses
And gave him this gift…
You ask how ideas begin, you cur!
Demand to know? You cullion! You fop!
Hoping to bankrupt my hours of study
With your snake’s show of shallow flattery.
Prepare. For I direct you to a source;
My well of anger, disgust, fierce loathing,
In whose vinegary pail you will discern
Your own thin-tongued, vulture’s face reflected.
You sly sweeper-up of stray threads and hairs.
You bloodless scrounger of bold men’s banquets.
I will tell, but also command your ears
To wither under my full, righteous scorn,
And your tongue to gall from opprobrium.
True, some of my most prized rhymes and rhythms
Are sown from soft days beside the Avon,
Admiring soughing willows, dozing dogs,
Watching waterfowl dip for weed and wheat,
But not today, when anger is like the plough
That churns a golden field to blood-brown knots.
Aye, these ideas are as bone-strong knives,
Already sharp as flint and fit to plunge
Into an enemy’s fat, fetid heart.
Anger breeds anger until it fills out
The soul like foul cancer and must be felt.
When first we met, you saw air where I stood,
You had no talent for seeing talent,
Only for grubbing silver from fat purses.
But now that I am noted by noblemen,
You at last observe me as a thing opaque.
But even as you hoped to charm this wright,
In your haste, you shoved at the awkward maid
That stood ‘twixt your appetite and your meal.
Her body, which to you is a mere door,
Is to me the bearer of life and love.
Here you volunteer as my evergreen,
Renewing history in your favour,
You false, finical, coxcomb. You cuckoo!
You crave to ken what kindles me to scrawl?
Have this as satisfaction. It is you!
When I carve a criminal, a vile duke,
A putrid whoreson, empty but for low
ambition; when I smith a king of bawds
Then will I think on you and rage and write.
Your mark will be made, but as the fell fools,
The base, penny-proud, belchers and pukers.
I was a quill, a sail of smooth feather,
But here you have made a sword of my pen.
You said all this? His haste was warranted.
Your anger is a font of profane words
That I admire greatly. We must harness
This wellspring of righteous woe and sorrow.
‘Tis already begun.
Only when I have writ full this new play,
Will my ire be done.