The Dream #poetry #earthweal

I dreamt the Theatre was dead
and I revived it single-handedly.
So how did I revive the Theatre?
What did that mean, exactly?

I sprinkled the air with fairy dust
nothing more than usual, just
motes which dance in shafts of light –
thought that would do just right.

Then there was the varnish smell
from the wooden boards long-trodden
longer abandoned, who can tell
how long they lay, forgotten?

There would be a velvet curtain
burgundy-red and thick with dust
and a chord to draw the curtains in;
a stage with talent blessed

I cursed myself – the talent was not mine
and called the players in
to win our hearts, their honeyed words like wine
breathed into life again

those tales of old, once woven by a bard
who held our hearts in the palm of his hand
which beat to the sacred rhythm of the word
to rise and fall with metrical demand.

Not in the words, nor in the actors faces
nor in old love within revived anew
the light that played upon those sacred spaces
gave birth to dreams which time cannot undo.

Ā©Ā ExperimentsinfictionĀ 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for earthweal

This week, Brendan has set us a Midsummer Night’s Dreamtime challenge. In his essay, he quotes extensively from Shakespeare’s play, which I acted in as a lovestruck teenager, in love with none other than Bottom! If that isn’t poetic justice…

I did dream a while back that I single-handedly revived the Theatre. I cannot remember a thing I did in the dream to achieve this grandiose aim, so I had to fill in the blanks with my memories of both acting on the stage and watching performances. To watch a theatrical performance is to be transported to a kind of dreamtime or ‘everywhen,’ as Brendan puts it.

44 thoughts on “The Dream #poetry #earthweal

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  1. Acting is great art. An actor or actresses represents the millions of people who are watching them.

    I have a query. Do you ever dream to be an actress?

    1. I did as a child. I used to alternate between dreams of acting and writing. I am living one of those dreams šŸ˜ŠšŸ™šŸ˜Š

  2. This is wonderful Ingrid. I can feel it coming to life as I read it and I can smell the dust that has covered overtime and the mustiness of it all and then it coming back to life again apart from the vital ones who are the actors. Brilliant Ingrid

    1. Your dream reminds me of all the empty theatres during the pandemic and your closing stanza beautifully captures the magic that lingers there šŸ’œ

  3. I think every time you write a poem something enacts upon that ancient stage — theater grew out of religious ritual, so the sacred part of our work is in the crafting of the song — portaling vantage for the gods. And it’s bottomless work, like Shakespeare and the dream. I loved the sense of deep time sweeping through the details here, where personal history becomes the Mystery, something I very much believe. Thanks for bringin’ it, B.

  4. What a lovely dream to have! And just the right amount of fairy dust made me smile.
    Both my children were in theater in high school and college, and daughter and her husband fell in love when she played Blanche and he played Stanley in Streetcar. The Philadelphia theaters are making plans to reopen!

  5. I love “The light…gave birth to dreams that time cannot undo.” A wonderful response to the prompt. I can see the dusty stage, the heavy curtain, almost hear the bard’s words, revered still, all these years later.

  6. what a beautiful gift and love your dream so well powerful and needed Ingrid when everyone is chomping at the bit to keep it alive.

    Beautiful line

    “the light that played upon those sacred spaces
    gave birth to dreams which time cannot undo.” šŸ’–šŸ’–ā£ļø

  7. Love the rhyme scheme used to convey your dream. Aren’t we all actors on a stage? In dreams we are able to change the stage, setting, lighting and even characters at will. It’s the magic behind the veil that allows us revisit
    the past and redefine it in some ways.

  8. So beautifully written – your words really do bring it to life. We have an old theatre just like this one in town, red velvet curtains and wooden floorboads – many fond memories.

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