tempest in no teacup
A TEMPEST IN NO TEACUP
Ripeness and mortality and age
are the subjects Shakespeare chose
for his last play, "Tempest, " like a sage,
bringing his works to a close.
Before this he had never sounded
like a sage, implicit wis-
dom making him appear well-rounded,
explicit wisdom never his
cup of tea, I think, except
in rhyming couplets, often so
intrusive they sound badly prepped,
so predictable we know
before they're spoken what they'll say,
like words of a pretentious preacher,
or grandparent who's gone to hay,
or superannuated teacher,
just like Polonius, who was stabbed
by Hamlet-none too soon, it seems,
when you consider how he blabbed,
obsessed by all his clichéd themes.
He shows what Shakespeare thought of sages,
till he relented in "The Tempest, "
prospecting wisdom in all pages
before becoming fugit tempussed.
"The Tempest, " isn't in a teacup,
for it is a far stronger brew,
wisdom served not with a hiccup
but as an old man's point of view.
A.O. Scott in the NYT,9/24/10, discussing the New York Film Festival, contrasts "The Tempest, " in which Helen Mirren plays the role of Prospera, with the movie about Mark Zuckerberg, "The Social Network."
"The Tempest, " Shakespeare's last play, is among other things a tale of leave-taking and last things, and the youthful aggression of "The Social Network" is balanced by quite a few films that explore age, ripeness and mortality.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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