in the heat .. they all want to play Hamlet…

so last week I reread Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth. good, light summer reading! This time around, I think I understand more. Hewr’s a poem by Carl Sandburg- which I have partially set – with a milonga bass line.
THEY ALL WANT TO PLAY HAMLET
They all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia dying with a dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers-O flowers,
flowers slung by a dancing girl- in the saddest play the inkfish,
Shakespeare, ever wrote;
Yet they all want to play Hamlet because it is sad like all actors are sad
and to stand by an open grave with a joker’s skull in the hand and
then to say over slow and say over slow wise, keen, beautiful words
masking a heart that’s breaking, breaking,
This is something that calls and calls to their blood.
They are acting when they talk about it and they know it is acting to be
particular about it and yet: They all want to play Hamlet.
Carl Sandburg

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