The League of Canadian Poets have celebrated April as National Poetry Month for 15 years now. That doesn’t sound like a very long time, considering Robert Hayman was writing poetry in Newfoundland in the early 1600s.
So, in the spirit of celebrating poetry, Problematic Press would like to take you back nearly 400 years in sharing these few epigrams from David Reynolds’ adaptation of Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets, Lately come Over from New Britaniola, Old Newfoundland.
1. To the Reader of my reprehending general Epigrams.
I Do not, nor I dare not squib the State:
Such outrecuidant sauciness I hate:
Nor do I mean any one Man herein;
In private terms, I lash a public sin;
If any guilty think I him do mean,
He judgeth right: for I at him do aim.
47. To a handsome Whore.
One told me, what a pretty face thou hast;
And it’s great pity that thou art not chaste.
But I did tell him, that did tell it me,
That if thou were not Fair, thou chaste wouldst be.
49. Of the Gunpowder Holiday, the 5. of November.
The Powder-Traitors, Guy Fawkes, and his mates,
Who by a Hellish plot sought Saints estates,
Have in our Calendar unto their shame,
A joyful Holy-day called by their Name.
Hayman’s Quodlibets contains over 300 more wonderful witticisms. Print and digital editions are available through Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.
David Reynolds also dabbles in poetry. You can find out more about his work on his blog, Reynolds’ Thoughts and Fictions.