ENG 1D: Don’t Let Your Teacher Write Poetry

Before we begin, know this:

  • The Bard is a nickname for William Shakespeare
  • Sherlock Homes lived at 221 Baker St.


Since our first day with Shakespeare’s love-struck pair

You noted that his narrative differs a hair

From novels and stories you read before

Though stories they’re still (at least at their core).

Not annoyed, but curious, I’ve heard you exclaim,

“What is with the rhymes? What’s Shakespeare’s game?”

Err we read the lines and rhymes of the Bard,

My next few thoughts might catch you off your guard.

Think of beats, my young friends. Yes, beats, I say,

Things used by Kanye, Em-, and yes, Dr. Dre.

Their sounds aren’t sweet, gentle, or pastoral,

About things green, countrified, or floral.

It’s nuance, flavour, the tone of the street.

Concrete and pavement alive through a beat.

Their beats drive, lines swagger, their rhymes rhyme hard:

Streets alive, streets broken, streets deeply charred.

“We know hip-hop, sir, much better than you,

Tell us: what with Shakespeare has this to do?”

See, poets are products of place and time;

They show their world through their words and their rhymes.

In Wil’s era, almost all poets rhymed,

Not a little, not some, but all o’ the time.

Shakespeare was a breaker of rules, you see:

Tradition stifled not creativity.


How shall we proceed?


Today, good students of room two-two-one,

Investigate rhymes of Montague’s son,

Capulet’s daughter, of friend good and true,

Nurses, servants, and the Prince, of course, too.

(Know’st Sherlock, best detective ever?

From 221 he conducted endeavours.

You, like him, have a conundrum to solve

Mystery to unravel, rhymes to resolve).


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