Very flattered and happy that the lovely ladies of the Belladonna published this important piece designed to help us all remember how to evaluate feedback on everything from musicals to features to plays.
Written aged 17 in response to Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress, a poem which the speaker whinges about how the woman he wants to bang won’t bang him. He says that if they could live forever he would be happy to take things slowly and court her at length, but since they are going to age, she should give her honor to him before the worms take it from her grave. Essentially, he’s such a creepy, entitled, manipulative shit that a teenager could see through him.
From His Coy Mistress
Thou wouldst not be content to gaze
Upon me ’til the end of days.
Shouldst thou inspect me much before,
Thy lust will fade with every flaw
Thou find’st; I cannot let thee near.
Thy love to me is ever dear,
Yet, if I give kind words to thee,
What more wilt thou then take from me?
Were any man thus made to wait,
His love must soon transform to hate.
Content to look, yet not to touch.
Methinks thou dost protest too much.
Thy kind doth live for but one thing.
Taunt me not with thy whispering
Of lies, that men before have told,
Which steel my will a thousandfold.
Thou speakst of romance tender, though
Thine inmost thoughts remain below.
If thou wouldst claim an ounce of praise
Speak not these lies; of endless days
In harmony, of one accord.
Could any man live thus? How bored
Thou shouldst be, thou must needs confess,
If thou couldst not thy love undress.
If thou wilt claim me e’en so fast
Pretend not that thy love would last
Denied. No man did yet succeed
To lust in word and thought, sans deed.
Thy words are false; yet eloquence
Could prompt me not to send thee hence.
Tell me of what I may acquire
Were I to fan thy raging fire.
First, deck me with that diamond jewel;
Think me not some believing fool
To love without the marriage knot.
Once wed, to bed, or I will not.
Hadst thou been born within my sphere,
With ample means to keep me here;
Hadst thou great wealth, high status, land
Thy ring might soon adorn my hand.
Then all will follow; sense foretells.
Yet thou wouldst have no wedding bells.
Then do not fear, thou foolish knave.
I’ll take no honour to my grave.
The worms’ hot lust shall ne’er be sated;
I am going to be cremated.
If the shoe fits… who cares if you don’t recognize her?
Written and performed by Nick Afka Thomas and Sarah Ann Masse (We Are Thomasse.)
Directed by Mark Philip Lichtenstein.
Produced by Zoe Samuel and We Are Thomasse.
Sound by Liz Kohl and Caitlin McMillan.
Written with Natalie Samuel for some of our very favorite cousins!
To Natasha and Richard Ascott, on the Occasion of Their Wedding Day
It was a summer’s day in Somerset
When Richard and Natasha wed. They vowed
Eternal love, and every eye was wet
And every head, so tearful were the clouds.
The guests thronged from the corners of the land
To share the joy, or was it for the feasts?
For lo, there poured from Michael’s open hand
Five desserts, ten speeches and two priests.
Who are this lucky pair? Natasha’s job
Means daily battle in a hellish school,
Casting pearls before antisocial yobs;
While Rich helps wealthy socialites look cool.
And yet they match, so cynics, keep in mind,
Real love is fun to mock, but hard to find.