Stage Vs Screen

We’ll say this piece of air denotes a door.
Escaping thus, I may evade pursuit.
We’ll say king’s towers arise from this bare floor
And slim disguise makes strangers out of friends.
Addressing you, these present cannot hear.
This curtain marks a very different scene.
These sticks are swords, this empty hand a spear.
In dying, I may speak a quarter hour.
Yet though I die on bare theatric boards
And though I speak with long theatric pause
Still is my death reflected in thy eye
And in thy eye a single tear shall lie,
And in that tear, reflecting clear to see
All that is true theatricality.

But Shakespeare in the movies, speak more free,
Break up this speech, and leave that other out.
Say half at casket, other half at table,
Speak soft, cut rhymes, and never ever… yell.
All must be beautiful, your eyes must meet,
Denoting love, the camera mutes to slow,
All that you touch is solid, hefty, real
And every moment, star, your face must show.
Here is the street, the boat, the church, the house,
Zoom in on handkerchief, on arras and on mouse,
All detail, photo-perfect as can be,
With speeches chopped and dialogue at sea.
Coming so close, so natural, no doubt,
But lost to sense of what it’s all about.

30th January 2005