– Hamlet, II, ii; Macbeth, V, v; As You Like It, II, vii
“…de petits morceaux de papier… deviennent des fleurs, des maisons, des personnages…”
– Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann
From lines of printed letters on a page,
figures stand and move, flats rise in a set,
shapes, sounds and actions exist. On the stage,
for their hour, the poor players strut and fret.
Where nothing was, the play becomes a thing,
a being; and the stage is all the world,
where, like folded paper bits opening
in water, flowers and houses are unfurled.
And people rise, exist. The play takes place.
The being is the idea that attends
the people’s acts, words and purpose; and when
they feel love or anger, speak, stand or pace
about, they make the play, until it ends,
and settles on the printed page again.
Robert Pelgrift practiced law in New York City for many years and is now an editor for a legal publisher, working in New York City. His poems have been published in various anthologies and in The Lyric, The Rotary Dial, The Galway Review, The Foxglove Journal and The Waggle.