Fall 1982 • Vol. IV No. 4 Poetry |

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

She makes me agree beforehandNot to leave early if she does,So I stay when she walks out at the breakAfter Act II, while Othello's faithIs still spotless and Desdemona still smiles. Someone behind us might guess she's glimpsed in the crowdAn old lover who spoiled a good beginning with jealousy.Why sit here and let the playGrate her with its coarse analogies?But he'd be wrong. The hero is simply a manIn trouble who can't be helped,A man she admires, sleepwalking towards a cliff edgeShe'd never walk towards. She wants to call from her seatTo warn him. Let him choose a plotLess slanted to catastrophe.Why should she stay to be toldWhat she knows already, that she has no power? The distance from her seat to the stageIsn't far enough. Am I sitting farther awayWhen I stay to watch him stumble?Am I so in love with the beauty of the probableThat I want a simple soldier to be fooledBy the simplest strategy, a handkerchief and a lie,And receive full strength the fate of fools? I hope

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Carl Dennis has published numerous books of poetry, including House of My Own (1974), The Outskirts of Troy (1988), Meetings with Time (1992), Practical Gods (2001), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, and Callings (2010).

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