Friday, October 28, 2011

Authorship Haiku Competition: Win a copy of Contested Will!

Shapiro, James. Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Anonymous. Dir. Edward D. Wood, Jr. Perf. David Hasselhoff, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mark Wahlberg, Lindsay Lohan, and Willem Dafoe. Columbia Pictures. 30 September 2011.

Thanks to the kind auspices of Simon and Schuster, I have two copies of James Shapiro's magisterial Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?—which I've mentioned before on this blog—to give away, and I thought the Shakespeare-reading community, in light of the recent release of Anonymous, would appreciate a creative outlet for their thoughts on the authorship issue. Bardfilm provides.

This is your chance to compose a haiku on the subject! Please submit your English-Language Haiku on any aspect of the authorship issue in the comments below. When we have selected the winners, we will post their names and invite them to e-mail their addresses directly to us to claim their prizes.

Here, then, are the details of the competition:
  1. For the purposes of this competition, an English-language Haiku is defined as a poem consisting of three lines, the first and last of which have five syllables and the middle of which has seven syllables. We recognize that other forms are viable poetic expressions—but not for this competition. The judges will be strict on this point, so make sure your haiku follows the 5-7-5 syllable rule. For a sample, see my award-winning Shakespeare haiku.

  2. Haiku must be posted before 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, November 3, 2011 in order to be eligible for the competition.

  3. Submitted Haiku must be the original work of the submitter (we'll be checking).

  4. One haiku per person, please!

  5. There will be three judges to this competition: The author of Bardfilm, the author of Shakespeare Geek, and blogger and Twitterer PlaysTheTart.

  6. The decisions of the judges are final.

  7. We reserve the right to add to this list of rules.
The authors of the top two Haiku will each receive a paperback copy of Contested Will; a consolation prize (a used copy of Drama of the English Renaissance, edited by M. L. Wince) will go to the third-place winner.
Stratfordian's Lament
"Who wrote Shakespeare's plays?"—
A hopeless tautology?
Not to Ed De Vere.
With that, you may commence posting!

Note: The winners have been announced!

Click below to purchase the book from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).


monksoham said...

more a limerick:
There once was a man called de vere/
who they claim is the true will shakespeare/I say did he ever write a true tale d'hiver?/O that silly young man called de vere.

Christina Squitieri said...

"Edward de Vere, Dead in 1604, Continues Writing Shakespeare's Plays"

If de Vere wrote "Lear"/
He had to be a zombie--/
Title is not "Brains"!

Andrew Huntley said...

Epic scholar fail:
de Vere is no great writer
And Emmerich is a fool.

kj said...

I can tell already that the competition is going to be stiff!



kj said...

Here's another of mine (don't worry—I'm not included in the list of possible winners):

Oxford wrote the plays.
But he had to hire some help:
Infinite monkeys.



Jennifer Delamere said...

Heed not the doubters
Mediocrity will die
But the Bard lives on.

Becky Myers said...

Bacon once told me
He wrote all of Shakespeare's plays.
Ne'er heed talking food.

diiq said...

Are titles fair game? If so, ignore the silly title. *ahem*

"Ah --- Speak, Seer!"

Name him, whose pen pulled
bluebottles from blank pages ---
spontaneous life!

Papa Pantaloon said...

Who would have thought it?
The world’s greatest lit. arrives

Tom Snout's Gramma said...

The Earl of Oxford,
The educated scholar,
Can't steal the glory.

Rod Beilfuss said...

Who builds pyramids?
Aliens! Who wrote Will's works then?
An Earl, don't you know?!

DramaMatt said...

A question for the debaters:

Would YOU secretly
Name your masterwork after
Someone else's son?

Robin Starveling's Gramma said...

So how did Will write?
Iambic pentameter.
No help from the Earl.

Mad Minerva said...

Want real fantasy
Told with skill? Screw Emmerich.
Go read "The Tempest."

Hermia's Gramma said...

O Edward deVere
Seventeenth Earl of Oxford
Turning in his grave.

kj said...

Thanks to all submitters! Here's a last one from me. It intimates that I think titles are all right--even though this one has more syllables than the poem.

I Coulda Been a Pretendah; or, Ockham's Razor Cuts Both Ways

Bacon or Marlowe?
Elizabeth? Oxford?
No. William Shakespeare.

Take care!


Papa Pantaloon said...

Um, isn't that second line one syllable short? Here's a fix: "Elizabeth? Oxford? (hiss)"

kj said...

Very good! You pass the test . . . yes, the test that I set up to see if you were observing the rules!

Thanks! I'll just shove another "or" in there (instead of insisting that Ell-iss-a-beh-eth is five syllables).

I Coulda Been a Pretendah; or, Ockham's Razor Cuts Both Ways

Bacon or Marlowe?
Elizabeth or Oxford?
No. William Shakespeare.

Thanks for the correction!


Alexi said...

The Problem With Reading Plays Autobiographically:

Come on guys, it's clear,
In retrospect, obvious,
Hamlet wrote Shakespeare.

~*sim*~ said...

Emmerich: "Where there's
a Will, there's de Vere!" I plead:
"Let sleeping bards lie."

dcbyron said...

You think me simple,
Ill at ease with quill in hand,
Poor bare forked muse?

TZ said...

As his honest Puck,
those nightly dreams all jewels,
Shakespeare was no fool.

kj said...

The competition is closed, and the judges are meeting in a conspiratorial manner to determine the winners.


kj said...

The winners have been announced!



Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest