Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 87,843 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Reflections After Seeing The Tempest - Poem by Daniel Brick

Royal Shakespeare Society, March 2017

Everything you have heard
is true: the story has a princess,
too innocent even for a fairy world.
It has a revenge fantasy, side by side
with the vision of a utopian commonwealth.
Like all fairy tales, it has a monster
at its center. But which character
plays the monster? How will you answer me?

Should we fear that place because
one man rules it? Should we fear
him because he is a necromancer,
or because he is a grievously wounded
man with revenge burning in his heart?
Should we fear this man who claims he can
revive the dead, or is that just a poet's fancy?

Or should we rejoice instead because
this place is so real as we watch in wonder?
It has weight and presence, and creatures
of infinite joy cavort under its changing light
and fill its ambient air with the sweetest music.
And intelligent stars that know our fates
shine over it with unforced kindness.

Shakespeare fell silent after this play.
At the end he speaks of despair being relieved
by prayer and he asks us to set him free to go.
We must make our own closure: There is an island
you can reach only by risking a storm at sea.
There must be a history of grief you carry
within, and a willingness to make forgiveness
your permanent state of mind and heart.

But the hardest task is to toss Prospero's
books into the sea, and watch them as they sink
past touch, past vision, past any hope
of retrieval. Thus must be done yet again
when one of us dons Prospero's robe,
and finds another set of books just waiting.
There is an island that could be paradise,
there is a pure woman waving from the shore,

and there is a monster at the center, wherever you turn.

Topic(s) of this poem: island, literature

Comments about Reflections After Seeing The Tempest by Daniel Brick

  • Valsa GeorgeValsa George (6/28/2017 7:18:00 AM)

    I remember having studied Tempest in my undergraduate level...! The characters are still vivid in my memory... Miranda with her beauty and angelic charm, Ariel the sprite, Caliban the subhuman creature and the central figure, Prospero..... all live in the hearts of readers even though centuries have passed! This is a miniature form of the world we live in... Yes, there is a monster wherever we turn, a heavenly sprite to save us in times of danger, blooming love as that of Miranda and Ferdinand, crime and forgiveness......! Thanks for reviving those memories once more! You are a master in retelling classical lore! (Report)Reply

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  • Nosheen IrfanNosheen Irfan (6/21/2017 2:44:00 AM)

    You know Shakespeare very well, i must say. Like Susan, i'm stunned too. Shakespeare had this quality of making even a fairy tale look real. To this day, we living in this modern era, can relate to his characters n can feel the emotions they felt. His timelessness n universality make him the best in the world of literature. That's life...a beautiful island, a pure woman and a monster. A great write. A sure 10. (Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (6/20/2017 3:18:00 PM)

    Daniel, you stun me. I should not be surprised. You always stun me. I had a wonderfully stirring and intelligent professor at college teaching me two years of Shakespeare... I never thought anybody anywhere his match or even close to being his match. But I could have learned from you as well, Daniel. You could write a text with which teachers and professors could pass on the heart and soul of the best of literature.... you really could. I sit here imagining a high school student somewhere reading this poem and his mind springing open and saying- - Oh! I get it now! ! ! WoW! ! ! ! ! ! You are the best, Daniel, in so many ways. 10++++++++++++ and a place on my fav poems (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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