per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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In honor of the Bard's birthday
HENRY V -Prologue

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

- William Shakespeare

This was a hard one to choose... there's so much of Shakespeare's work that I adore, that resonates deeply with me- Sonnet 116, Prospero's speech "Our revels now are ended..." from Act 4 Scene I of "The Tempest", Theseus's speech "The lunatic, the lover and the poet..." from Act 5 Scene I of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"... I could just go on and on.

But the piece above seems to just sum it all up for me- his magic, and the magic of any storyteller, whether they're working in drama or novel or graphic novel; epic poetry or screenplay or LARP. So much of the Maker's art involves wooing the imagination, collaborating and co-creating with the audience or reader or players. I can just see Derek Jacobi's face from the Branagh movie, lit by a flaring match as he begins to speak so quietly, walking around the deserted set as he builds energy, then throwing the doors open at the end with a shout! And you're suddenly there, in the story, part of it.

That's what it's all about.


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