The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Return to the Renaissance

Henry V: Act 1, Prologue
By William Shakespeare

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history.


I spent a glorious not-too-warm Sunday with the leaves falling all around at the Maryland Renaissance Festival -- a date originally planned so dementordelta could bring our friend Lin and Adam could bring Maddy, but Maddy couldn't come, so Adam opted to stay home, and Lin felt ill and wound up spending a lot of the afternoon lying down in Delta's car, sadly. But apart from worrying about her, we had a truly lovely day, and in addition to lots of our favorites, we got to see many things we didn't see several weeks ago when we first visited the Renfaire, such as:

Happenstance Theatre performed Something Rotten, a two-person mime-and-comedy version of Hamlet.

A snake brought by a reptile rescue group that had several other snakes and other animals in one of the Dragon Lair buildings undulated over to greet Delta.

A musician played what looked to us like the Renaissance equivalent of the Simon electronic music game.

A group that trains therapy dogs introduced some of their trainees to visitors.

An elephant trainer juggled oranges to encourage the elephant to follow her to give more visitors rides. I never knew elephants ate oranges.

There were guns at the archery demonstration, perhaps to prove that when a gun was misfiring, an archer could shoot the gunman repeatedly.

At Shakespeare's Skum's version of Shakespearean Jeopardy -- we also saw their Henry the Vee, hence today's poem -- Daisy O'Danny did an impersonation of William Shatner playing a famous king. (Someone shouted out Romeo and Lysander as the answer to a trivia question about Shakespearean love gone wrong; we all agreed that Shakespeare really should have written that romance.)

Here are myself and Delta with Lin after seeing the snakes, before Lin went to rest, which unfortunately meant she couldn't be at Daisy O'Danny's naughty singalong with the moose song.

After a lunch consisting of healthy food like fried cheese, fried bread with blueberry compote, and cheesecake on a stick, we came home to have ravioli with Adam, who was finishing up a practice PSAT after having read dozens of pages for AP World History and finishing his Chinese homework. We got to see the happy end of the Redskins game, though we missed the happy end of the Ravens game, and we watched Once Upon a Time and Upstairs, Downstairs (still lots of crazy revisionism, but hey, Kennedys as well as Royal Dukes in this one)!

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