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Greetings, Poet Friends! I hope you are all having a good weekend. I’m Mary, and I hope I’ve come up with an idea that will inspire your writing today here at Poetics.  The idea might be a  bit challenging, but I hope that you all will give some aspect of it a try!

One thing I’ve thought about very much lately is how quickly time passes. I cannot believe it is autumn already. It seemed like two weeks ago it was spring. Does time pass quickly for you too? For me the weeks go by, the months, the years at breakneck speed. Where did childhood go, teen years, young adult years, etc? How did we get to be the age we are today this quickly? I know sometimes I look in the mirror and see my mother looking back at me. Eek!

As I contemplated the passing of time, interestingly enough I was drawn to William Shakespeare and his writings on the subject.

One of William Shakespeare’s most famous monologues is in the play As You Like It and is called the “All the World’s a Stage” monologue. The speech begins, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.  The monologue goes on to  describe the seven ages of man. They are:

Infancy: In this stage he is a helpless baby and knows little.

Childhood: It is that stage of life that he begins to go to school. He is unwilling to leave the protected environment of his home as he is still not confident enough to exercise his own discretion.

Lover: In this stage he is always remorseful due to some reason or other, especially the loss of love. He tries to express feelings through song or some other cultural activity.

Soldier: It is in this age that he thinks less of himself and begins to think more of others. He is very easily aroused and is hot headed. He is always working towards making a reputation for himself and gaining recognition, however short-lived it may be, even at the cost of his own life.

Justice: In this stage he has acquired wisdom through the many experiences he has had in life. He has reached a stage where he has gained prosperity and social status. He becomes very attentive of his looks and begins to enjoy the finer things of life.

Pantaloon: He begins to lose his charm — both physical and mental. He begins to become the butt of others’ jokes. He loses his firmness and assertiveness, and shrinks in stature and personality.

Childishness: He loses his status and he becomes a non-entity. He becomes dependent on others like a child and is in need of constant support before finally dying.

(source – Wikipedia:  All the World’s a Stage)

Seven Ages of Man…….by William Mulready, 1838
Wikimedia Commons

You  may be interested in the You-Tube video of Morgan Freeman reciting “The Seven Ages of Man.” I enjoyed it and think you might to, if you have a little time.

If you would like a source for the written words, here they are from Poemhunter.com: All the World’s a Stage.

Shakespeare – by John Taylor, 1610
Public Domain

All right, now for the fun part.  Let’s write!  Perhaps something above has already inspired you.  If so, go for it; and don’t read further. If not, here are some suggestions:

(1)  If “All the World is a Stage and all the men and women merely players, ”  what do you see on your stage? Who are the characters?  What is the plot?

(2)  Think about the Ages of Man (or Woman) above, write in regard to one or more of them.  You do not have to use the terms of the ages above…ie lover, soldier, pantaloom, etc.  But you get the idea.   You can make it personal, impersonal, fictional, philosophical, whatever you choose.

(3)  As the Ages of Man (Woman) seem to pass so quickly, and before we know it we are looking back, write about the passing of time  — days, years, decades. Reflect on TIME, however you wish.

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