Janice Windle


(For Dónall) Return to Stratford upon Avon


Fourth of July in Shakespeare’s Stratford -
we’ve driven up north from south of Watford
and patiently we join the traffic’s crawl
past rotund families, nose-deep in ice-cream cones
(measure for measure, the most expensive ones
in all of Merrie England, as I do recall)

The houseboats on the Avon nudge and creak
and swans with outstretched necks and hungry beaks
imperiously demand their royal due -
Darbies and Joans enjoy the Mail and Sun
with flask of tea or coffee and a bun.
But now we pass the toyshop – “Much Ado

About Toys” – its sign is just the start
of Stratford’s sights, that gladden poets’ hearts -
establishments that bear the hallowed names
of Marlowe, Chaucer, Dickens, Garrick, Nash
(with august men our heritage’s awash -
these shop fronts really are a Hall of Fame)

In Stratford’s centre, tourists have a thrill -
for near his birthplace, Shakespeare’s standing still -
and for a groat gives photo opportunities -
his fans line up to pose with famous Will
and stare and marvel till they’ve had their fill -
but now a sign declares – “Forgive me, please

I must away, be back in just a while.”
The reason (we cannot suppress a smile) -
he writes – “I need to go and do wee-wees! ”
A smiling waitress brings us our ice-cream -
we’re not surprised it’s “Midsummer’s Nut Dream”
As in the “Food of Love” we take our ease.

The Pen and Parchment pub’s our final goal,
where just a year ago I bared my soul......
he’s sitting by my side, my loving mate.
The anniversary of our first warm touch -
when Donall wore that kilt, moves me so much -
compared to him, for me Will Shakespeare doesn’t rate!

Submitted: Monday, July 06, 2009
Edited: Tuesday, September 08, 2009

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Comments about this poem ((For Dónall) Return to Stratford upon Avon by Janice Windle )

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  • Sid John Gardner. (7/9/2009 3:26:00 PM)

    A charming resume of the 2009 event.Commercial gimmicks apart Stratford Upon Avon in July's summer heat is like a fine wine.Heady, satisfying and full of nice people.(Especially the PH cadre lol.) Roll on 2010. A most enjoyable description of the place Jan.I saw 'As You Like It' at the Courtyard theatre but the highlight was meeting old friends and exchanging poetry.Liked your book Jan.The watercolour backdrops to your poems were wonderful.
    Sid x. (Report) Reply

  • Original Unknown Girl (7/8/2009 3:51:00 PM)

    What a charming recollection of images and people and perfect snapshot times all merged together in one very fine poem. There is so much imagery I'd like to take it apart and make 3 or 4 poems of it. But still it is perfect as it is and its conclusion comes as no surprise. When you have your own very perfect poet who needs Will? ? ? HG: -) xx (Report) Reply

  • Onelia Avelar (7/8/2009 5:43:00 AM)

    Very entertaining travel notes in classic verses :) , I was curious about this event and here I finaly received the information in a way I wanted. Through your eyes whole the journey and the place and mix of past and recent events seems so fabulous. I would like to be there on this fourth of July in Shakespeare’s Stratford. Of course your special anniversary, due to the place and event charges the poem with something special and unspoken... (Report) Reply

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