The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare was a writer of fame in his own day, and his legacy lives on in our English tongue. He brought dozens of words and phrases into the language, and peradventure many may soundeth peculiar to thine ears, but they nonetheless are his legacy. One of Lord Strange’s Men, he later built his own theatres in London.
A West-Midlands man
Now Thames-bank Global renowned
First among men Strange
A haibun written for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters
Dear Gruoch, good lady – your ear I beseech
Beware ambitions that seem just within reach
For though vile murder seems so simple to enact
The consequences that follow – your foes will exact
Bloody hands will become the least of your woes
For Macbeth and Thee – moving forests will bring low
Stick close to your virtue, let not greed stain your way
And long life you may enjoy – if good advice you relay
Your fortune requires no crown on husband’s head
Only grief will come of hands that are red
Be you then wise and wily, and full of insight
And shy from murder, and treachery by night
This poem is an edited version of one written in response to a call for submissions of “letters” to Shakespearean female characters.
*The name of the historical “Lady Macbeth was Gruoch ingen Boite.
Jester, Henley Street
We were travelling in the area, so we thought a quick stop in Stratford-upon-Avon would make for an interesting side trip. We really only had an afternoon, but it gave us a taste of this history packed town in Warwickshire.
We first set out to see and photograph key Shakespeare related buildings. The first of these was Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. While not strictly in Stratford (it is in an outlying village), it was very easy to access. This was the home of Shakespeare’s wife before their marriage, and it is a lovely thatched, wattle-and-daub building. It has gardens, and is a real atmosphere setter for a Bard related visit.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Shakespeare’s mother’s home is equally beautiful. What is commonly known as Mary Arden’s House or Mary Arden’s Farm is another example of quality timber framed construction. There has been some misunderstanding of where Mary Arden actually lived, but this house has long been associated with her, though it way well actually be her neighbours’ house. It is nonetheless part of the Shakespeare story.
Mary Arden’s House (or Palmer Farm)
It was then onwards to town centre and Shakespeare’s birthplace. This is a half timbered building on Henley Street, and is in a pedestrian shopping precinct. Parking is nearby, and it is a short walk to other attractions.
Nearby are the Shakespeare Centre and the Shakespeare Library and Archive. These provide a range of resources on the author and his works.
There was much more to see, but time was waning. So it was time for some quick souvenir and gift shopping and then on our way. It is worth noting that their is a quirky magic and fantasy themed shop not for from the Shakespeare Centre where we got some Harry Potter themed bits for friends and family as well.
Link to Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
In Search of Olde England
A Visit to Cavendish, Suffolk