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When Poets Use Allusion

  A poet uses allusion when the words in a poem they have written make a clear connection to another poem or story. The poet may use this device to honour the earlier piece, or it may be used in order to create a humourous effect.

   In the poem posted below, 'Homework Haunts Hamlet', I have quite deliberately employed allusion. 
I have linked the vexing issue of homework to the famous soliloquy (spoken monologue from a play) from William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. I am attempting to inject a touch of humour into an otherwise concerning matter. 

  'Homework Haunts Hamlet' appears in my latest book, I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon, which is due for release very soon!

Homework Haunts Hamlet

To do or not to do?
That is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler on the mind
To suffer the slings and arrows of outraged parents and teachers
And engage willingly in work avoidance,
To look away from homework
And towards fun and merriment.

To do or not to do?
That is the question.


  1. Ha! I am currently sitting next to a fifteen year old girl who was in tears today over the amount of homework she must accomplish before going to bed tonight. I thought I'd get a start on some of my (favorite Poetry Friday) readings. Oh, she will love it when I read this to her.....right after she finishes this geometry problem! Cheers, Alan. Thanks for the spot-on poem and a much needed light moment in my night of frustration.

    1. Pleased to be of poetic assistance Linda.

  2. You've captured the homework experience so well. I am happy to be beyond the days of homework. Now my deadlines are self-imposed and much easier to avoid.

    1. We are all practiced at avoidance unfortunately. I like deadlines. They act as a motivator to get a project, a task completed. I sweat, I strain, but mostly I get there. Homework and its efficacy remain an issue for teachers and students alike.

  3. So many of my obligations could use this lens as a way of evaluating their urgency. To grocery shop or not... To sort the laundry or not... The list is quite endless, but I have to admit, that I am grateful to have grown out of homework.

    1. Brenda, the days of doing homework have certainly left indelible memories.

  4. "To do or not to do" is always the question! Fun allusion, Alan. =)

    1. Glad you liked the connection Bridget. I had a chuckle to myself when composing it.

  5. UGH you've summed up my high school experience far too well, it's bringing back too many memories! ;-)

    1. Sorry to arouse feelings that may deliver a sense of repressed anxiety. Move to something more uplifting like, -ice-cream!


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