Curtain up

Oh, Will. We’ve found it. After all these years,
We’ve dug it up at last – your wooden O,
That in your day resounded to the cheers
Of lords and groundlings. How were they to know
Their Sunday entertainment would endure
Long after every trace of seats and stage
Had vanished – or that you, a poor, obscure
Hired player, would cast their world, define their age?
Perhaps now we can finally close the door
On those misguided souls who still debate
Who wrote your work – because, they claim, it’s more
Than one low lad from Stratford could create.
It’s not just mud and scattered stones we’ve found
In Shoreditch. It’s our roots. And sacred ground.


This made my day. N.

9 thoughts on “Curtain up

  1. Hi Nick
    Behind a pub! 🙂 How convenient! Shoreditch is probably now famous and will get many visitors! I am going to England next week, but I don’t think Bridlington and Leeds are nearby?
    This is a great poem 🙂
    Ina xx

    • Like many parts of East London, Shoreditch used to be very poor, run-down and crime-ridden. These days it’s hip, desirable, expensive (but since a lot of City people live there, still crime-ridden!) The Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, at Bankside, is a replica (albeit a very good one) so to find the real Curtain is very exciting. I don’t know whether they’re planning to preserve it or make a museum of it: I do hope so. N.xx

    • It’s really exciting. I’m going to the Globe (which is a replica, although close to the site of the original) to see ‘Henry V’ next month: it will be amazing to hear the prologue knowing that the real ‘wooden O’ has been found at last. “Cry ‘God, for Harry, England and St George!'” N.

  2. A kingdom for a stage! O to be in England as Nick Moore visits the wooden O and ruminates on a time long past when Elizabeth I was on the throne, and the poetry of the ages was being declaimed into the distant future! O Will, we’ve found it. After all these years. Yes and yes and this made my day too! Both the poem and the news. Behind a pub–sounds appropriate to me.

    • I love Sam Wanamaker’s Globe Theatre, of course, Tom, and have been lucky enough to see several plays there (and I’ m going to see Henry V next month – can’t wait!) but that’s a replica, albeit a faithful one. This is the real deal, the place where Shakespeare trod the boards himself, and some of the great plays were first performed. Knowing what we know now, it’s hard to imagine being at the opening performance of, say, Romeo and Juliet. But this find brings us just a little closer, I guess. When you come over, we’ll go see it, yeah? N.

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