Jung said that the greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parent. That’s what I see happening when the ghost of King Hamlet charges his son with avenging his death.  Imagine being burdened with condemning your uncle so that you might somehow redeem your father.  Imagine the desperation bound up in giving your last greatest desire to your indecisive son. How the ghost’s pathos might be expressed poetically fascinated me.

I walked this parapet

…………………………….when I had time

 

in the autumn when the fires lit

the night watch

 

and the fir and spruce tops glowed

 

days when I held my

 

scepter

…………….breath

…………………………….and lady

all

with one hand

 

but lingering in this limbo,

 

I have neither

…………………………….feet

…………………………….hands

…………………………….blood

…………………………….crown

…………………………….queen

 

 

or confession,

 

my own cut short

in the garden of my ambition,

now

 

…………………………….the sun tells me

…………………………….my time is up

 

…………………………….but yours is not,

…………………………….so what,

…………………………….in all this cold and all this dark,

 

will you do

when

I tell you a thing that will stand your neck hairs up and turn your young blood cold

 

.……………………………what will you be

 

…………………………….if ever I was father to you,

 

…………………………….be a son to me

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