Paul Willis


Shakespearean Candidates

Lady Macbeth: she’ll keep you sharp!
Brutus: he’s got your back.
Cleopatra: asp not what she can do.
Antony: loveā€”and attack.

Hamlet: debating on your behalf.
Ophelia: (her chances are slim).
King Lear: retiring but on the job.
Andronicus: hand it to him!

Prince Hal: bidin’ his time.
Falstaff: once more to the beach!
Othello: promising never to choke.
Iago: revenge is in reach.

Romeo: wherefore any other?
Juliet: I drink to thee.
Malvolio: no more cakes and ale.
Viola: look, I’m a she!

Bottom: O sweet and lovely wall.
Shylock: the one with a plan.
Prospero: it will just disappear.
Caliban: get a new man!

Paul Willis has published six collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Little Rhymes for Lowly Plants (White Violet Press, 2019), and is also the author of a YA Elizabethan time-travel novel, All in a Garden Green (Slant, 2020). He is a professor of English at Westmont College and a former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California.