"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lead on MacDuff...

Dear Peter
I am writing to let you know that despite being in the final shortlist for the post of poet-in-residence at BAZ productions, the judges did not choose your poem.
Yours was one of 10 poems in the final selection, and each was of such a high standard that we would love to have them read aloud before a performance of Macbeth one evening. Would you consent to your excellent poem Macbeth's Lost Soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 3 being read at one of our pre-show events in the Crypt bar from 6-7pm? Would you like to perform it yourself if so?
Do keep in touch, and in the meantime thank you so much for sending in your
poems, they were fantastic and I can assure you the decision making process
was extremely difficult.
With best wishes,
the Baz Team

Ah, another lovely rejection letter. It really softens the blow when people go to so much trouble.
The competition was organised by new London theatre company Baz Productions with the interesting provisions that the verse should relate to Macbeth and incorporate iambic pentameter in some way. The winning poem is here and, as mine is probably no good for anything else, I'll post it below. The great thing is that Wendy Cope was one of the judges, so I can say that Wendy Cope actually read a poem of mine.-

Macbeth’s lost soliloquy in Act I Scene III
(only the first line was retained in the original Folio)

Macbeth: So foul and fair a day I have not seen –
heatwave, sleet and all things in between.
It is on days like this that I despair,
for what’s a Scottish nobleman to wear
in Scottish climes when weather turns and turns?
The sun was lost, yet presently it burns
and Factor 15’s surely not enough
to bronze like that unnatural-born Macduff.
Is this a brolly that I see before me,
the spokes turned inside out? Yet morning saw me
stripping down to boxer shorts and sandals,
the better for to fight Norwegian vandals.
Last night, as I was sleeping on the floor,
methought I heard a voice cry, Sleet no more,
Macbeth hath murdered sleet! Yet when I woke,
I looked around to see who ‘twas had spoke,
yet there was none; yet he could have my seat
if he could only help me murder sleet.
It is the worst weather known in life,
though people warn, Beware the rain of Fife.
Yon isobars are closely knit together,
foretelling we are in for windy weather.
But see, those nimbus clouds that promise flood
sit motionless as trees in Birnam Wood.
But here come three weird sisters, rife with cysts,
doubtless amateur meteorologists.
Tell me, crones, which weather will prevail?

First witch: Hail
Second witch: Hail
Third witch: Hail.


  1. Oh that's genius! I loved this bit best
    Sleet no more,
    Macbeth hath murdered sleet!
    until I got to those final five lines.
    Bloody hell, I'd go to the Crypt Bar to read it for you. Especially if I get to dress in a domino like that.

  2. Love the poem, Peter (and the rejection letter).

  3. This is great! I just love your way with rhyme. And I agree with Titus - Macbeth had murdered sleet is sweet :)