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Shakespeare Quote

The challenge today at Real Toads it to take a quote from William Shakespeare and turn it into the title of your own poem or use it as inspiration for a poem.  I’ve chosen a quote from Othello (1605).  This is my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays.

Iago:  “I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.”

Deep in the darkness of night

young lovers sneak to their

secluded wooded haven

safe from all prying eyes

save the waning cresent moon

peeking to see what they might do.

First their modest greeting, a

gentle kiss on the cheek

with proclamations of a

heart broken each time they part.

A greeting refined and civil and

safe for public eyes, out of place

in the darkness of the wooded eve.


Lingering in the wild wood

with green oak leaves as a roof

causes genteel manners to

dissipate; a man and woman

return to their original state,

shedding clothing and inhibitions

words abandoned, groping hands

express their unspoken desires.

They give in to primal needs

making the beast with two backs.

Moon discreetly ducks behind

a fast passing cloud and

only the great horned owl

calls, “Who, who, who dares

to desecrate my sacred home?”

It’s been a long month of working on the farm, and I’ve really missed the great poems and challenges found with this amazing community of poets.  It’s good to be back!  Linking to Real Toads  for Kerry’s Wednesday Challenge.

13 thoughts on “Shakespeare Quote

  1. save the waning cresent moon

    peeking to see what they might do.

    Love your story telling and sense of humor in it. Nice job, and welcome back:)

  2. You paint a vivid picture, Teresa–had no idea that expression came from Othello, though I always thought it was an amazing one.

  3. Loved this scenario. The romantic, sensual meeting of lovers away from the eyes of the world. Enjoyed the discreet moon ducking behind the clouds and the owl that sees all!

  4. I have never liked explaining this quote to students and actors–but now I can simply hand them your poem! Beast = owl+oak+moon+ lovers “return to their original state.” I like how the moon’s behavior alters from beginning to end.

  5. Making the beast with two backs…sounds so weird.
    Loved the setting, the romance, the furtive meeting. An altogether fabulous write and, welcome back to poetry 🙂

  6. a man and woman

    return to their original state…

    You set the scene so well, very reminiscent of Shakespeare’s pastoral plays, and show the gathering intensity of human love, so well summed up in the lines I have quoted. Shakespeare spent years analysing the different faces of love, but this is most true, surely, making love under an oak tree by moonlight and owl song.

  7. An excellent response to the prompt, Teresa. I’ve never liked Iago’s description of a lovers’ tryst, but yours is lovely, with the “secluded wooded haven”.

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