Happy birthday to William Shakespeare (04/23/1564) and to Maya Angelou (04/04/1928)
Two famous Irish poets share the same April birthdate, April 13, and both of them received a Nobel Prize for Literature. Samuel Beckett was born April 13, 1906, died Dec. 22, 1989, and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.
Seamus Heaney was born March 13, 1939, and died Aug. 30, 2013. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1995 was awarded to Seamus Heaney “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.”
Two living Irish poets: Michael Higgins born April 18, 1941, is currently serving his second term as the president of Ireland. Gabriel Rosenstock, born April 29, 1949, writes and translates in Gaelic and English languages. Gabriel is a poet, playwright, haikuist, tankaist, essayist, and author of over 180 books mostly in Gaelic. He is also a friend of mine and lives in Dublin, Ireland. All these poets have written other forms of literature and taught poetry at various times in their careers. Please check out their poetic works if you have not done so.
The following first appeared in the Saipan Tribune on April 23, 2018. It contains Shakespeare’s original Sonnet #130 and a parody of it written by me. Enjoy!
By William Shakespeare
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head;
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
‘My Tax Returns Will Never See’
Parody by J.B. Connolly
My tax returns will never see the light of day
I dread not rubles or ties with Russian red
my money stashed in Wall St. every which way
its whereabouts known only inside my dyed head
I have rubles galore unmasked Russian red and white
haven’t seen any in my accounts for months and weeks
I’ll have to have an oligarch over for drinks tonight
give him some old Trump vodka and see if he leaks
I›ll roll my rubles over in some small Swiss bourse
time to lay low stop contacting my Russian oligarchs
now time for a few rounds on my Mar A Lago course
greenback leisure for us mighty plutocratic monarchs.
Yes, my friend Vladimir Putin thinks my brain is ‘rare’
as usual only with himself does he care to compare.
Joey ‘Pepe Batbon’ Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Joey aka Pepe Batbon is a retired educator who taught in the CNMI, NOLA, and LVNV. He is a sonnet practitioner who enjoys stargazing.