Wednesday, August 10, 2005

To Print Or Not To Print...That Is The Question

On an earlier post I imtimated that I enjoy parody. The fact is I most certainly do, considering myself to be a sort of parody conisoir.

The poem I intend to share with you tonight is one of the best examples of parody I could offer. It does a ripping job of keeping the forms of the orriginal piece while adding its own distinct message (one that I find very applicable). But what I appreciate most about it is that it is not at all snarky, as many parodies are, but actually quite thoughtful and edifying. Like all good parodies this poem contains many cultural references, so if you don't get something, click the link I've provided. You can look up unfamiliar words here.

Hamlet's Soliloquy, Imitated

By Richard Jago (1715-1781)
To print, or not to print -- that is the question,
Whether 'tis better in a trunk to bury
The quirks and crotchets of outrageous fancy,
Or send a well-wrote copy to the press,
And, by disclosing, end them? To print, to doubt
No more; and by one act to say we end
The head-ache, and a thousand natural shocks
Of scribbling frenzy -- 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To print -- to beam
From the same shelf with Pope, in calf well bound:
To sleep, perchance with Quarles -- Ay, there's the rub --
For to what class a writer may be doom'd,
When he hath shuffled off some paltry stuff,
Must give us pause. -- There's the respect that makes
Th'unwilling poet keep his piece nine years.
For who would bear th'impatient thirst of fame,
The pride of conscious merit, and 'bove all,
The tedious importunity of friends,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare inkhorn? Who would fardles bear?
To groan and sweat under a load of wit?
But that the tread of steep Parnassus' hill,
That undiscover'd country, with whose bays
Few travellers return, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear to live unknown,
Than run the hazard to be known, and damn'd.
Thus Critics do make cowards of us all.
And thus the healthful face of many a poem,
Is sicklied o'er with a pale manuscript;
And enterprisers of great fire and spirit,
With this regard, from Dodsley turn away,
And lose the name of authors.

And lose the name of bloggers...

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