My local library is sponsoring a 4th Annual "Battle of the Bards" Poetry Contest for poems up to 50 lines. I submitted two excerpts from The Marliad (my verse essay-in-progress). One is a 50-line summary of my solution to the case of the murdered bard. The shorter of the two submissions is reprinted here. Wish me luck, a $75 Visa card goes to the winner. It's not the Hoffman Prize, but still. © 2016 David A More.
The Bard Canard
False History chronicles the Shakespeare story:
An actor writing plays for cash, not glory;
And Marlowe murdered in a “tavern brawl”
About a bill for food and alcohol.
The murderer received a royal pardon;
And England got its own exiled bard.
But Christopher's good name got slandered hard:
They said, at death, he cursed the name of God!
Aye! The bad ink that our hero got
Inspired sheets of plays without a blot:
Great Tragedies and Comedies with plots
About fake death, exile, reconciliation—
And History plays that praise the English nation,
Renowned today by world-wide acclamation.
Revealing Marley's re-invented self,
You'll find them on the “William Shakespeare” shelf.
© 2016 David A More