Kate Tempest 2

My Shakespeare by Kate Tempest

Created by Kate Tempest a with 23 Comments

Watch Kate’s performance of what Shakespeare means to her.

My Shakespeare by Kate Tempest

He’s in every lover who ever stood alone beneath a window,
In every jealous whispered word,
in every ghost that will not rest.
He’s in every father with a favourite,
Every eye that stops to linger
On what someone else has got, and feels the tightening in their chest.

He’s in every young man growing boastful,
Every worn out elder, drunk all day;
muttering false prophecies and squandering their lot.
He’s there – in every mix-up that spirals far out of control – and never seems to end, even when its beginnings are forgot.

He’s in every girl who ever used her wits. Who ever did her best.
In every vain admirer,
Every passionate, ambitious social climber,
And in every misheard word that ever led to tempers fraying,
Every pawn that moves exactly as the player wants it to,
And still remains convinced that it’s not playing.

He’s in every star crossed lover, in every thought that ever set your teeth on edge, in every breathless hero, stepping closer to the ledge, his is the method in our madness, as pure as the driven snow – his is the hair standing on end, he saw that all that glittered was not gold. He knew we hadn’t slept a wink, and that our hearts were upon our sleeves, and that the beast with two backs had us all upon our knees as we fought fire with fire, he knew that too much of a good thing, can leave you up in arms, the pen is mightier than the sword, still his words seem to sing our names as they strike, and his is the milk of human kindness, warm enough to break the ice – his, the green eyed monster, in a pickle, still, discretion is the better part of valour, his letters with their arms around each others sholuders, swagger towards the ends of their sentences, pleased with what they’ve done, his words are the setting for our stories – he has become a poet who poetics have embedded themselves deep within the fabric of our language, he’s in our mouths, his words have tangled round our own and given rise to expressions so effective in expressing how we feel, we cant imagine how we’d feel without them.

See – he’s less the tights and garters – more the sons demanding answers from the absence of their fathers.
The hot darkness of your last embrace.
He’s in the laughter of the night before, the tightened jaw of the morning after,
He’s in us. Part and parcel of our Royals and our rascals.
He’s more than something taught in classrooms, in language that’s hard to understand,
he’s more than a feeling of inadequacy when we sit for our exams,
He’s in every wise woman, every pitiful villain,
Every great king, every sore loser, every fake tear,
His legacy exists in the life that lives in everything he’s written,
And me, I see him everywhere, he’s my Shakespeare.

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  • Anonymous

    Absolutely AMAZING!  Brilliantly written and performed!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-David-Cruise/1032524787 Timothy David Cruise

      Kate Tempest has done some other things – you can find her Teen’s Speech on youtube, and she does beat poetry as part of the group Sound of Rum.

      it’s all this good, and all this clever, and all this well-read.

  • Elisabeth

    I was moved–unsurprisingly–to tears. In this performance, Kate is so clearly in love with the feel of Shakespeare in her heart and in her mouth, one almost blushes and feels the need to look away.

  • Bahr

    Incredible! Articulate! A great start for my morning and fitting that this beat poet launches this website with her passionate homage to Shakespeare. I’ll use it today to inspire my students!

  • Joe

    Excellent.  A truly memorable introduction to Shakespeare, his poetry, words and their meaning.  Kate Tempest is an inspiring introduction to understanding why Shakespeare had the common touch and is  loved by everyone regardless of their background or education.

  • Chaos

    WOW!! Blown away!! Never heard of Kate before but have looked up her page now, listening to/watching more and am just amazed….what an incredible ‘poet of the people’………kudos Kate, loving your sentiments….

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  • Paulineiddon

    I loved the universal themes still able to touch us on the shoulder.

    I loved the relevance in everyday words which continue to bring Shakespeare alive.

    I loved  the passion  when Kate read and acted  out her words.

    Indeed, all the world is a stage …………… Shakespeare continues to direct us; mere actors..

  • Lois

    Simply A-ma-zing!

  • http://twitter.com/KatieKinnear Katie Kinnear

    This is amazing. Her observations are so spot on… and articulated so beautifully.   

  • gt

    Wow! Loved it!

  • Alison Fairgrieve

    An astonishing performance, though I have never heard of Kate Tempest and am a bit intolerant of rapping – maybe because it goes too fast.
    I followed the text as she declaimed and found that the speech and performance differed a bit.  I hope that she agrees to a definitive version because this is genuine poetry and should last in print and not just in an ephemeral rap.
    I wouldn’t like to hear the poem in classical  actorish tones but Kate’s passion would gain in effect if she studied some voice production.
    I am old, so I can say this.

  • Anthony Hanley

    Proof, if any were needed, that Mr Shakespeare’s understanding of human nature is unsurpassed and his words are entwined in our brief existance. I must show Ms Tempest’s heart-felt perfomance to my Students!

  • JACK

    Passionate but esoteric.How many would appreciate ‘
     his poetry, words and their meaning. (Joe)’
    Are we a “cult?” Like Apple computer users…would our Steve Jobs please step up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MizGodzilla Christine Gonzales

    I agree with Elisabeth.  I cried watching/listening to her words, he voice, her adorable youth and beauty. She gives me hope for the future because as a teacher of Shakespeare to young children, I BELIEVE his words are transcending. Kate proves it.

  • Deasy

    So fresh, fast but not furious ,
     make your shakespear curious
    Unfettering  the minds
    in the lettering we find
    such treasures, that Kate measures
    and delivers with quick silver tongue
     it makes me yearn to be so fresh and young
    but proud to be allowed
    to praise and raise this Tempest
    high above , she is the best
    she can express the dimensioins of communications
    wrapped inside realities, the quantum  DNA
    of a Shakespear far away
    affecting us with mystery
    Down the trails of history.
    William and Kate
    an inter century date
    Not  to be missed
    as The Bard is kissed
    on the  streets of London , by a  wild young blonde un.

  • Jocelynegourand

    l, too, was moved to tears by the loving tender close of this raucous-rapturous poem and thought how l would have loved to use it in the classroom with my students when l was still active… What an introduction to Shakespeare !

  • Lee

    Beautifully written and passionately delivered. But I feel sad, because BP’s logo on this performance, and on this project, taints everything it touches. Call me greedy, but I am sure we can have this degree of conscious creativity, and social justice and a planet that has a future – it just means dislodging destructive corporations from their cosy position in British public life, and a diversion of public money towards what is good and necessary…

  • Michaelmckeown1

    Best thing Ive heard in ages , bought tears to my eyes.

  • Mick

    A real Poet .

  • http://twitter.com/DFActing Discover Fine Acting

    Taken me a while to get here, but very glad I’ve found this. It’s brilliant, intelligent, passionate, straight to the heart and head at the same time. Amazing!

  • Les Cameron

    I heard Kate on Phillip Adams RN in Australia the other day and was completely blown away. This is a synergy that Shakespeare would have undoubtedly loved…what a mesmerising performance. How do we support her work???

  • Cre8love

    Straight up!

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