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Short poem

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

When I Read Shakespeare --

              1When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
              2that such trivial people should muse and thunder
              3in such lovely language.

              4Lear, the old buffer, you wonder his daughters
              5didn't treat him rougher,
              6the old chough, the old chuffer!

              7And Hamlet, how boring, how boring to live with,
              8so mean and self-conscious, blowing and snoring
              9his wonderful speeches, full of other folks' whoring!

            10And Macbeth and his Lady, who should have been choring,
            11such suburban ambition, so messily goring
            12old Duncan with daggers!

            13How boring, how small Shakespeare's people are!
            14Yet the language so lovely! like the dyes from gas-tar.


4] buffer: fellow, "dog" (OED, sb. 4).

6] chough: crow (always cawing?).
chuffer: fake (OED).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: D. H. Lawrence, Pansies: Poems (London: Martin Secker, 1929): 84. PR 6023 A93P3 1929 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1929
Publication date note: See Roberts A47
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/12

Composition date: 2 December 1928 - 15 December 1928
Composition date note: See Ellis, 590
Form: Sonnet (Variant)
Rhyme: aab cdd eff ffc gg

Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence