‘A Sad Tale’s Best For Winter’

Leontes: the RSC’s production of The Winter’s Tale in 2009.

Just beyond the mirth of great nature’s rebirth,
bitter winter beckons to confine the shining sun
and stamp out all life young. It tears each leaf
from each limb, letting each fall into the grave
of all that’s nothing, where the putrid stench
of decay is as potent as the plague of darkness
that reigns over all like a tempest of tyranny.
But, in the midst of nothing, some life interred

stirs to inch slowly upwards through benighted
daylight, shooting through the earth’s melting
mantle to bring spring forth and rot the root of
flowering winter: so I do not sit above the grave
of all, but the great womb of all, where all that’s
nothing swells nature like two mingled bloods
so that it may soar beyond our horizon of time
to create, from all that’s nothing, all that’s great.

Published in The Monktonian 2009/10

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