i) Godzilla Vs Shakespeare
Up on the ramparts all await their time
Each heroine, the fools and knaves, each king,
Ready to catch our hearts, the play’s the thing
A cockpit where they arm themselves with rhyme.
The monster tries to hide, but shows through plain,
Behind a frond ripped up with giant claws
We see his scaly hide and gaping jaws
As Birnam tropics come to Dunsinane.
All rally to defend now, each with each,
Juliet with dagger, Richard on a horse,
Dear Hamlet with his poisoned foil of course,
Harry with swords and longbows, at the breach.
Godzilla, shuffling closer, knows what’s what.
Size matters. But then so do prose and plot.
ii) Godzilla in Shakespeare
She was too big to sneak, she couldn’t hide,
She did well at Harfleur, the wall went down,
If Bardolph then got splatted in the town
All well and good, Flewellyn got to ride.
Verona fell out differently, no feud
Of family could stand against those feet
She could go nowhere that required a street
Dancing or love-making, too big, too crude.
When troops were needed, she advanced before,
She sheltered Lear on the blasted heath
She stood outside, or waited underneath,
And lurked before the walls of Elsinore.
She couldn’t seem sincere as Romeo.
As Caliban she really stole the show.
iii) Godzilla Weeps for Baldur
A little Viking boat, with tattered sail,
Frigg, by the curved carved prow, bids everyone
To weep for Baldur, her lost murdered son
To bring him back from Hel, she cannot fail.
She’s what, a radioactive dinosaur?
Destruction manifest, and Japanese?
Frigg begged her, even deigning to say please
And left her sitting weeping by the shore.
Aesir and monsters close beneath the skin
Berserk rampager — Frigg could work with that
She told her what they’d lost, and as they sat
Godzilla wept for Baldur, as for kin.
So what was Baldur that Godzilla cared?
Each cherry-blossom petal that she’d spared.
iv) Godzilla in Love
It is the nightingale and monsters all
Come tripping through the glades of some strange wood
Godzilla sulking, trying to be good
All balconies inevitably fall.
(All right, she stomped Verona really flat.)
But this is different, this is fairy-time,
With transformations, turning on a dime
The size of others, and she longs for that.
Or failing that, some great iambic man,
Scaled up to her and talking like the Bard
They’d stomp together, would that be so hard?
Uncertain, frightened, questions if she can —
Does love change when it alteration find?
She wants someone to love her for her mind.
v) Godzilla at Colonos
Alive she is destruction, people flee
Mouths opened wide in screams before her tread
But that great body when it falls will be
A benediction after she is dead.
She raged and roared, but failed at family,
Her sons wreak devastation, fight and fall,
Her daughters seek to bury them, but see,
One destiny to perish over all.
But once there was an answer she could give
People and monster met in what they knew,
That time’s inexorable, but people live,
And grow and change and die, and monsters too.
So though she threatened life and home and city
The faces hold not terror now, but pity.
(I wrote these by request of Ada Palmer for the 2015 Vericon auction. The theme of the auction was Godzilla vs Shakespeare. She only wanted one sonnet, but people usually ask me for such boring things, and this was such a fun one that I ended up writing a whole bunch of them. If you like them, and you’d care to donate to Cittadini del Mondo, that would be really great. It’s probably easiest to donate via Vericon. Godzilla won the auction, by the way.)