You Failed Shakespeare - Chantal Mitchell
But you know the difference between
a cat’s paw and a claw hammer. How to drill
nails into dry-rotted wood and make something
as dead as Elvis seem alive and well. How to turn
twigs into many-roomed mansions and replace linoleum
floors with ones of marble. Floors so pure that the foot
that touches them bare
asks their steps for mercy
and may never walk again. I’m
cool with that. Build me
So I wrote an entire soliloquy about this piece, posted it, and then had a meltdown when it all got deleted. Nevertheless I am going to attempt to recreate the genius.
I really connected to this piece because of the language. It was so intimate. It also expected us to know immediately what was going on. By introducing the poem with "but" the author assumed that we already understood. Which I loved. That's something I've been thinking about a lot with my upcoming senior show. There's so much I want to include but I also want it to be intimate and intricate and I think that there's this fine line between expecting too much of the audience and treating them like they know nothing. You can't just hand over information otherwise what do they have to work for and why would it stick with them afterwards? If they're given everything they need to know, they don't grow as people and see art in a new way. I want my work to be more intimate and I think I try too hard to tell the story without letting the story tell itself. If that makes sense. I also loved the language of this piece because it was simple. It wasn't trying to be more than it needed to be. I think that's a chronic dilemma of mine... I try too hard to say what I want to say that it comes out forced and stilted. People connect to things that feel natural and like something they'd see out in the world. I loved this piece because it felt effortless and so real. I can relate to feeling so broken that you're ok with being in a wheelchair. It was honest. I want that level of honesty in my work.
Mitchell, Chantal. “You Failed Shakespeare.” Glyph. 25 (2013): 149. Print. 10 October 2016.