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Carl Sandburg - They All Want to Play Hamlet

THEY all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia dying with a dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers—O flowers, flowers slung by a dancing girl—in the
saddest play the inkfish, Shakespeare, ever wrote;
Yet they all want to play Hamlet because it is sad like all actors are sad and to stand by an open grave with a joker’s
skull in the hand and then to say over slow and say over slow wise, keen, beautiful words masking a heart that’s
breaking, breaking,
This is something that calls and calls to their blood.
They are acting when they talk about it and they know it is acting to be particular about it and yet: They all want to play
Hamlet.

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 11532 times | Comments and analysis of They All Want to Play Hamlet by Carl Sandburg Comments (2)

They All Want to Play Hamlet - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 6. They All Want to Play Hamlet
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- II. People Who Must
Year: Published/Written in 1922
Poem of the Day: Apr 24 2011

Comment 2 of 2, added on July 18th, 2014 at 9:00 AM.
jBQhzDLbZRIwuPP

yJ8wYr Very neat blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

link building from Chile
Comment 1 of 2, added on June 6th, 2007 at 4:09 AM.

I'm an actor, and this poem struck home. Delightul, insightful, funny, sad and accurate. However, I thought I knew my Shakespeare but one reference eludes me: "Spinning circles of singing golden spiders". Anyone throw any light?

Robert Lister from United Kingdom

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