To Amuse a Muse!

Romeo gazes at Juliet, as Juliet sighs to the stars, but poor Paris is left to play with himself! Meanwhile, Hamlet has fouled his stockings, Puck has got his lovers crossed, and where are my yellow tights?!

Out of Shakespeare’s dream, a poet arises to sing the praises of his muse. Here are couplets to laud his characters, quatrains to herald his plays, sonnets to celebrate his sonnets!

At times raunchy, yet always reverent, this take on Shakespeare and the Performing Arts sings at Heaven’s gate, and in verses worthy of the Bard himself.

Let this book transport you there too!

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“The author lives and breathes Shakespeare… a natural disciple of the great poet. Read and be inspired!”

Hear the Author read excerpts from Well Versed


In Verse Described!

Dante is famous. He imagined Hell,
A plain of burning flakes and sulphurous smell,
Pour souls afflicted in a sorry state,
And names the enemies he loves to hate.

But he’s no match for Milton’s inspiration,
No poet greater in imagination.
Yet Shakespeare most gets ink within these pages,
‘Twas he who said, “Our praises are our wages!”


Encendido

Abdiel first encountered Buenos-Aires-based Tango orchestra, Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro, in 2016. Spellbound by their live performance, he wrote this poem in tribute to them and later set it to one of their instrumental tracks, entitled “Marejada”, which means “heavy seas”. An orquesta típica includes a front line of bandoneón players – “bandoneonistas” – the bandoneón being at the heart of Argentine-Tango music. By kind permission of the orchestra, this poem includes their musical accompaniment or, rather, my verbal accompaniment to their music!


Ezekiel's Vision

This poem takes the listener on an imaginary journey to the Throne of God, where four great angelic beings await, each with four wings and four faces. Ezekiel is literally swept off his feet! Based on Ezekiel – Chapter One in the Bible, this poem is set to the otherworldly music of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.


Drinking Alone Under the Moon

The Chinese regard Lĭ Bái (701 AD – 762 AD) as their “Poet Immortal”, among the greats of China’s “Golden Age” during the Tang dynasty. But he is also termed “Vagabond Poet” for consuming legendary quantities of alcohol. Drinking Alone Under the Moon is among his most famous poems, here reworked by Abdiel into Shakespearean-Sonnet form.


Farewell, Cambridge

Reworking ‘Zài Bié Kāngqiáo’ – or ‘Farewell, Cambridge’, by Chinese poet, Xú Zhìmó.


Iambic Pentameter

Iambic Pentameter – five heartbeats in a line of poetry – is the key building block of Shakespeare’s works and of most poetry written in the English language. Abdiel wrote this poem, in Iambic Pentameter of course, when teaching English in Chengdu, a city in the western Chinese province of Sichuan.


A Light-Hearted Commentary on Romeo and Juliet


Ode to the Cuarteto Biraben

The depth and quality of musical talent in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, never ceases to amaze me. Shortly after my arrival there in 2016, a neighbour introduced me to Federico Biraben, bandoneonist and composer of Tango-inspired music, and to his quartet – with violinist Alexey Musatov (also a member of the renowned Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro), pianist Pablo Murgier, and Lautaro Muñoz on double bass. I wrote this sonnet after a performance by the quartet at Café Vinilo in Buenos Aires, August 2017.


Ode to the Moires

Sonnet in tribute to French dancer, Inko, and her company of tribal dancers, on their performance in Beijing.