Wednesday, 23 April 2014

On 'Twelfth Night' (For Shakespeare's 450th)


I was tempted to ask it myself
as the ferry ground against
seaweed-greened harbour walls:
‘What country, friends, is this?’

Overlooked by abandoned palace,
remnant of some earlier kingdom,
we pulled in by a customs house
with handwritten welcome sign
and sprouting wire palms
across the dockside development area.

Who knew what we would find?


In a dark cell,
perched above shale-beds
in this corner of a promontory,
I’m overlooking absences
of a neatly turned plot,
a plunging watercourse.
‘We’ll come out of it
all right in the end,’
I think I heard you say.

Over our heads, birds plunge
and swoop into the thermals.
Stripped down to no more
than a bare, forked fear of heights,
I’m walking back up the slope
into a myriad coincidences,
opportunities for love amended.


23rd April marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth - and we wanted to celebrate it on Colourful Star, not least because Marina took inspiration from Shakespeare for the design of the project's logo. 'Twelfth Night' seems an apposite choice of subject for this post, because the answer to Viola's famous question at the beginning of the play - 'What country, friends, is this?' - is 'This is Illyria, lady', effectively locating the play in SE Europe.

Images: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips 




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