18 May 2017
· My new poem is published as part of an important centenary ·
Some news is come —
For the first time in my postlife, one of my 21st-century works has been set in type and printed on paper. A new poem, published under my own name, or at least under my own Twitter ID. An addition to the canon, without any need for contorted stylometric revisionism.
The poem is in the Spring 2017 newsletter of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, just out. Page 31. (It’s also at the bottom of this post.)
How did my Muse choose subject to invent
While I breathe not, yet pour’st into my verse
Mine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every Stratford paper to inhearse?
The year 2020 will mark the centenary of the publication of Shakespeare Identified, by J Thomas Looney.
I’ve posted about this book before. It sits top left on my library shelves. Looney was the first to use a non‑predetermined comparison of lives versus works to dis‑cover my identity as Shake‑Speare. His book served to simultaneously enlarge and focus the modern Authorship debate, in which we are still engaged today.
Since Shakespeare Identified was so personally significant, I thought it fitting to limn a laudatory limerick in honour of its author. Since the SOF was asking for centennial-related contributions, it seemed appropriate to offer them the poem, and they accepted.
I’ve lost my certainty about whether the family name was pronounced LOW-ney or LOO-ney, so I’ll let you choose for yourself. LOW-ney is the version in the newsletter (and here), but the LOO-ney version follows below. Mickey Rooney, George Clooney, Thomas Looney. Whatever the vowel sound, he was a proud man of Manx heritage, unwilling to hide behind a pseudonym. That’s irony.