To be, or not to be …

to be, or not to be,
that is the question.
what do I then be,
if you say me to be?
for I have forgotten,
what it once felt
to be that person
I knew I had to be.
yet if you did advise,
right is not to be,
can I ignore heart,
in whose old depth
I might still know,
what it once felt
to be that person
I knew I had to be?

consciously I die,
unconsciously I live;
wingless I fly,
seemingly pensive
till I find an answer,
I can’t break free
from that question,
to be, or not to be.


Shared with Imaginary Garden With Real Toads (Shakespeare Inspiration), d’Verse Poets (Open Link Night) and as participation for Blogging from A to Z Day 20 = Letter T..


(April 23rd, 2013)

Poetry & writing to me are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

32 thoughts on “To be, or not to be …

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  1. I love this idea and how true…it can happen that one forgets who they are and might rely on the memory of who they once were.

    This portion:

    “can I ignore heart,
    in whose old depth
    I might still know,”

    Love that!

  2. Leo, this is a marvelous take on Hamlet’s dilemma, one that is pretty common today! He would try to please if asked to be, but golly, that self is buried somewhere. I like the short beats and particularly: “consciously I die, / unconsciously I live; / wingless I fly,” Thanks for taking on the challenge.

    • I think I face that dilemma almost every day! 😉 To do this, or to not do it. Glad to have taken part, and thanks for stopping by, Susan!

  3. WHOA! Leo, you met the prompt and stomped it with this gorgeous soliloquy. We have all pondered that famous question, and you’ve examined it so well here. Also, the final stanza, wingless, I fly… gorgeous.

    One thing, constructive: I think you mean “advise,” the verb, not “advice”? Only saying this in case you decide to submit it somewhere. All offered with love. Amy

  4. I got dizzy reading this beautifully composed poem .. Hamlet and Will would be impressed, I am.

  5. There’s a depth of feeling here that Hamlet’s soliloquy provokes and the questions that inevitably follow. You’ve expressed that well in tight verses. The following lines I found particularly brilliant:

    consciously I die,
    unconsciously I live;
    wingless I fly,
    seemingly pensive

  6. Leo,
    Interesting take on Hamlet and that question is one that we all ask at some point in time..to be or not to be the question we can’t break free of???

  7. I might still know,
    what it once felt
    to be that person
    I knew I had to be

    Ah! I think we an all relate to this the older we get. Well done!

  8. I really enjoyed the way this poem winds in and around itself. The idea that one does not live consciously but dies consciously is an intriguing line. There’s a certain raw edge to this that makes the old saying by the Bard come alive in your words.

    • Thank you Chaz, and glad you felt my words bring the great words of Hamlet and Shakespeare alive. I’m happy you enjoyed it.

  9. …consciously I die,
    unconsciously I live;
    wingless I fly…

    wingless I fly…I like that…to be or not to be…every time I see those words they take me back to my 8th grade English class…enjoyed your wordplay.

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