The HyperTexts

Poems about Shakespeare by Michael R. Burch

These are poems by Michael R. Burch that are either about William Shakespeare or were inspired by his poems, plays and/or characters.

Fleet Tweet: Apologies to Shakespeare
by Michael R. Burch

a tweet
by any other name
would be as fleet!

Fleet Tweet II: Further Apologies to Shakespeare
by Michael R. Burch

Remember, doggonit,
heroic verse crowns the Shakespearean sonnet!
So if you intend to write a couplet,
please do it on the doublet!

Stage Fright
by Michael R. Burch

To be or not to be?
In the end Hamlet
opted for naught.

by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

Ophelia, madness suits you well,
as the ocean sounds in an empty shell,
as the moon shines brightest in a starless sky,
as suns supernova before they die ...

Attention Span Gap
by Michael R. Burch

What if a poet, Shakespeare,
were still living to tweet to us here?
He couldn't write sonnets,
just couplets, doggonit,
and we wouldn't have Hamlet or Lear!

Yes, a sonnet may end in a couplet,
which we moderns can write in a doublet,
in a flash, like a tweet.
Does that make it complete?
Should a poem be reduced to a stublet?

Bring back that Grand Era when men
had attention spans long as their pens,
or rather the quills
of the monsieurs and fils
who gave us the Dress, not its hem!

Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 Refuted
by Michael R. Burch, circa age 18

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
— Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

Seas that sparkle in the sun
without its light would have no beauty;
but the light within your eyes
is theirs alone; it owes no duty.
Whose winsome flame, not half so bright,
is meant for me, and brings delight.

Coral formed beneath the sea,
though scarlet-tendriled, cannot warm me;
while your lips, not half so red,
just touching mine, at once inflame me.
Whose scorching flames mild lips arouse
fathomless oceans fail to douse.

Bright roses’ brief affairs, declared
when winter comes, will wither quickly.
Your cheeks, though paler when compared
with them?—more lasting, never prickly.
Whose tender cheeks, so enchantingly warm,
far vaster treasures, harbor no thorns.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly

This was my first sonnet, written in my teens after I discovered Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130." At the time I didn't know the rules of the sonnet form, so mine is a bit unconventional. I think it is not bad for the first attempt of a teen poet. I remember writing this poem in my head on the way back to my dorm from a freshman English class. I would have been 18 or 19 at the time.

I Learned Too Late
by Michael R. Burch

“Show, don’t tell!”

I learned too late that poetry has rules,
although they may be rules for greater fools.

In any case, by dodging rules and schools,
I avoided useless duels.

I learned too late that sentiment is bad—
that Blake and Keats and Plath had all been had.

In any case, by following my heart,
I learned to walk apart.

I learned too late that “telling” is a crime.
Did Shakespeare know? Is Milton doing time?

In any case, by telling, I admit:
I think such rules are shit.

Bio: Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Beth, their son Jeremy, and two outrageously spoiled puppies. His poems, epigrams, translations, essays, articles, reviews, short stories and letters have appeared more than 6,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, The Hindu, BBC Radio 3,, Daily Kos and hundreds of literary journals, websites and blogs. Mike Burch is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The HyperTexts, a former columnist for the Nashville City Paper, a former editor of International Poetry and Translations for the literary journal Better Than Starbucks, and a translator of poems about the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Trail of Tears, Gaza and the Palestinian Nakba. He has two published books, Violets for Beth (White Violet Press, 2012) and O, Terrible Angel (Ancient Cypress Press, 2013). A third book, Auschwitz Rose, is still in the chute but long delayed. Burch's poetry has been translated into 14 languages, taught in high schools and colleges, and set to music by 27 composers.

For an expanded bio, circum vitae and career timeline of the author, please click here: Michael R. Burch Expanded Bio.

Michael R. Burch related pages: Early Poems, Rejection Slips, Epigrams and Quotes, Epitaphs, Romantic Poems, Sonnets, Light Verse, Parodies, Satires, Free Verse, Prose Poems, Free Love Poems by Michael R. Burch, Poetry by Michael R. Burch, Poems about EROS and CUPID, The Cosmological Constant: Limericks by Michael R. Burch, Antinatalist Poetry, Dante Translations by Michael R. Burch, Translations of Roman, Latin and Italian Poets

The HyperTexts