Iambic pentameter sounds like a heartbeat. Anyone familiar with blank verse knows the familiar bumBUM bumBUM bumBUM bumBUM bumBUM of the Bard’s work. His professions of love, his passionate soliloquies, nearly all have that heartbeat. Sometimes it races from fear or anger with short, clipped syllables. Sometimes the languid language slows to a crawl; drawing out that last breath with a loved one as if trying to stop the march of time itself.
But the heartbeat remains. We must face the fear. We must face loss. We must soldier on because if the heartbeat stops so goes the poetry, the beauty of life.
As this world slows and races simultaneously within and without, I am finding more and more solace in the poetry. It doesn’t come from the words themselves or the stories. It comes from the ever marching beat of the heart.
It’s no secret that the theatre community is scared. We don’t know if our profession will ever look the same. We didn’t get the opportunity to draw out the moment; we didn’t know we had so little time with the artform as we knew it. Our hearts thrummed to the rhythm of fear and then determination, without dropping a syllable.
Shakespeare gave us this gift; we know as long as his work exists we have something in the body and soul of theatre pushing us forward. We cannot be completely still as long as his prose is there, giving us a beating heart.
Katie Clark, Program Manager