Sometimes you find something you don't remember writing—that's what happened with this poem-essay, which I recently discovered, in nearly its present state, in a notebook. I remember the windowless classroom in which my student was disgusted by the bard's language—I must have frequently given my students in-class writing activities that semester, because I know of at least one other poem-essay that I wrote in and about that room.
Essay on Romeo & Juliet
When one is young the whole world seems very close and yet most of the world’s action remains hidden. I said that fall: not all parts of a life need to hold interest. Not all parts of a body regenerate. At forty I find myself thrust back into a room I occupied in my youth. I tell Molly it’s like a stereoscope in which the postcard is suddenly brought very close to one’s face. He left town as your boyfriend and returned as a box of ash and bone. The government entered the room in which he was to spend two days and imprisoned him for months. How did you become a wife holding weekly vigil in a church across the ocean from your country of birth? The play offered some lesson about the problem of lyric time, in which night is always coming on, or morning. Gallop apace, ye fiery-footed steeds. One girl makes a face and says I am sold but not yet enjoyed—this is where you see the man writing through the young girl speaking. I open a window and pour in feeling. The nature of lyric time, a rupture in the social order. A small and spaniel-like bliss each night as the car turned onto the street.
MC Hyland (she/they) is the author of THE END and Neveragainland, and the founding editor of DoubleCross Press. An Assistant Professor at Lebanon Valley College, MC lives in Lancaster, PA with her partner Jeff and a slowly growing collection of metal type and printing equipment.
MC's Book Recommendations
Short Talks - Anne Carson
Essays - Michel de Montaigne
Romeo & Juliet - William Shakespeare