You are what you read

I’m taking a break from writing. I just can’t seem to get any done in the summer. Instead I’ve taken up a challenge I set for myself last year. I’m reading through Shakespeare’s plays. Pray thee, what for, thou asketh? (Or, to quote my husband, “Why the heck would anyone want to do that?”) Because they are fascinating! Will was quite the humorist in his day. Okay, his tragedies get a little morbid, but his dialogue, once you decipher it, is beautiful, sharp and witty.

When I immerse myself in literature, it’s amazing how my brain begins responding in similar thought patterns. When a story is poetic, I find myself thinking in verse throughout the day. When it is heavy on word pictures, I see similes and metaphors all around me. And when the book is written in old English, I can whip off some pretty great dialogue, as my kids are quick to testify (and complain).

“Mom, the cat puked on the floor.”

“Alas, the vile brigand! Spendeth he the morn in a haze of dewy slumber whilst I bend my back to labor. And lo, when at last such floors shineth as the nooning sun, even as the polished pate of a balding man, whence creeps yon creature of evil intent to spew foul victuals amongst the cleanly tiles. Surely as thou favorest him, wench, as thou value his life, cleaneth up his mess.”

It’s been great fun to watch my kids roll their eyes as they work out the meanings. And when they ask how long till I’m done with Shakespeare, you should see the long-suffering sighs as I tell them, “four plays down, only thirty-four more to go.” I didn’t mention the book is due at the library in fifteen days. Why waste such a classic opportunity?

But alack, whence passeth the numbered weeks, yon volume must journey forth to its dusty abode. And then must I turn my quill again to mine own composition. Whilst time remainth, however, mine offspring shalt suffer much the weary words. 🙂


3 thoughts on “You are what you read

  1. I love this post! Now I may have to take up the challenge to read through all the plays again. I’m blessed to have my stepmom’s pristine set of the New Temple Shakespeare, though, so I don’t have to rush to return it to the library. 🙂

  2. Amy, I just might have to buy my own copy of Shakespeare. I remember thinking his plays were okay in high school, which was generally the highest opinion in the class, but I really ENJOYED reading them as an adult. I hated bringing the collection back to the libary!

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