Famous Poems Updated for the Quarantine

This was published on the Society of Classical Poets back in March 2020.

THIRTEEN FAMOUS POEMS
(Updated for the Quarantine)
by Rob Crisell

KILMER
I think no eye has ever seen,
A poem like this quarantine.

BROWNING
How do I glove thee? Let me count the ways.

POE
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom not-so-clean,
That a virus there lived that you may know
By the name of COVID-19.

DICKINSON
Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me –
I told him that I had acquired
My herd immunity.

ANGELOU
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of life postponed,
but not the bill.

SHAKESPEARE
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
My 401k is barely there.

LONGFELLOW
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
Or maybe it’s better to tell you the caper
Of how I discovered some toilet paper
At a Safeway only three miles from here.

MASEFIELD
I must go down to the mall again, to the lonely mall where I’ll buy
Some sort of decent take-out food. This time, I’ll make it Thai.

POPE
To err is Wuhan; to forgive, divine.

ELIOT
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out— 
DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYE!

MARLOWE
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That yield the valleys, groves, and hills,
So long as you can pay my bills.

COLERIDGE
Water, water, everywhere,
But all the time we think:
Who wants water anyway
With so much wine to drink?

BURNS
Oh, my love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June.
But my love says that she’ll murder me
If this ain’t done real soon.

Author: admin

Rob Crisell is an author, actor, teacher, and Shakespearean in Temecula, CA. He teaches poetry and Shakespeare with the Murrieta Valley Union School District as part of its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. He is a Shakespeare lecturer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has acted in The Merchant of Venice, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Baskerville, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest (Prospero), Macbeth, Othello (Iago), and others. Over the quarantine, he has acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor (with Nathan Agin’s “A Working Actor’s Journey production) and King Lear (Quarantine Players). He has written and performed several one-man plays featuring Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Shakespeare in America. He’s the author of Shakespeare’s Book of Wisdom: Advice on Living a Wiser, Happier Life from William Shakespeare & Friends (DePortola Press 2018). His 2016 TED Talk is “How NOT to Hate Shakespeare.” His verse adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will be produced by Full Circle Players in Riverside, California in October 2020. He is a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. For details, visit www.robcrisell.com or www.facebook/robcrisellactor/.

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