Madness is as Madness Does

Who art living that would not be drove mad
By hate? Vengeance? By the words of a ghost?
Upon hearing from his father’s lips
The very manner of his uncle’s boast –

That it were murder; treason; betrayal;
Which gave him brother’s throne, and sister’s bed?
How other than mad can be he who hears
The contrivance by which his mother wed?

Aye, thou art mad, to be sure; but not so
Mad as they see, for there is method there.
However, not the method they think it,
For sanity yet lives beyond thy stare.

Hamlet! Oh, Hamlet! Do please tell us true,
Is thy madness but an act, or a veil
Intended only to mete out the truth?
Or have thy senses become truly frail?

I swear by God ‘tis true, if not first mad,
Hamlet, mad thou certainly have become!
Beguiled by hate, and stalked by a ghost,
Thy mind is struck senseless, thy senses, numb,

What love thine heart once held has been murdered
By the very same poison as took he,
Thy father, from upon the very seat –
Where thine uncle now sits – ‘twas meant for thee!

Who can blame thy madness – if mad thou be –
Or thy loss of affection for thy maid,
When witness to thine uncle’s contrition.
And thy mother’s fickle heart so displayed?

Oh yes, Hamlet, thou art mad – ‘tis so,
But madness does not insanity make;
Madness is much more befitting a prince,
Than “sane” acts made by an uncle, a rake.

© 2015 The Poet Darkling™

 

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Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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