(Forest Books, Trans. A. Deletant & B. Walker)

Shakespeare created the world in seven days.

On the first day he made the sky, the mountains and the depths of the soul.
On the second day he made rivers, seas, oceans
And other emotions ---
And he gave them to Hamlet, Julius Ceasar, Anthony, Cleopatra and Ophelia,
To Othello and others,
To be master over them, with their descendants,
For ever and ever.
On the third day he gathered all the people
And taught them to savour:
The taste of happiness, love, despair,
The taste of jealousy, fame and so on,
Until all tasting was finished.

Then some late-comers arrived.
The creator patted their heads with compassion,
Saying the only roles left for them were
The literary critics
Who could then demolish his work.
The fourth and fifth day he reserved for laughter.
He allowed clowns
To tumble,
He allowed kings, emperors
And other unfortunates to amuse themselves.
On the sixth day he completed the administration:
He set up a tempest
He taught King Lear
How to wear a straw crown.
As there were a few leftovers from the creation of the world
He designed Richard III.
On the seventh day he took stock to see what else might be done.
And Shakespeare thought that after so much effort
He deserved to see a performance;
But first, as he was overtired,
He went to die a little.

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