Half of what he said meant something else,
and the other half didn’t mean anything at all.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – Tom Stoppard
Without sufficient light context or contrast
it is impossible to tell a hawk from a handsaw
regardless of wind direction.
Making up through obscurity
for a lack in both brevity & soulful wit
risks discrete rejection.
If you sing snatches of old songs they may
bring a smile but who will consider them
when there’s no connection?
Words words words to catch the conscience
of the king must reverberate with significance
to bring introspection.
There are more things than dreamed in earth
& heaven but if the poet provides no handle
the meaning will escape detection.
D.S. Martin is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, and Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books. He has written five poetry collections including Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013), Ampersand (2018), and Angelicus (2021).
D.S. Martin, “A Poemm Emerging from an Epigraph Concerning Hamlet’s Indirection,” An Unexpected Journal: Shakespeare & Cultural Apologetics 5, no. 4. (Advent 2022), 184.
A hawk (of course) is a tool used by a plasterer, & a handsaw is a hernshaw (that is a heron) which means that Hamlet is no fool & knows a bird from a tool.