Peter/Rock

The Nature of Things in Eternity

If I think about it again

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Poem: Henry, meet Henry. (Henry IV)
Chrachary
lizzie_marie_23
Fandom: Henry the Fourth (Part One)
Characters: Henry IV, Henry Percy, Prince Hal, Hotspur, Falstaff, Kate
Summary: There are four Henrys
Notes: I am neither Shakespeare nor Siken, though I wish I were.
Word Count: 482

There are four Henrys. Two of them are fathers. All of them are sons, but both of the grandfathers are dead. One of the fathers sits in the throne and one of the fathers put him there. None of the Henrys were born royalty and two of the Henrys want to keep it that way. One of the sons becomes a new person and one of the fathers has other people become him. The brother of one of the Henrys understands his nephew better than his own father does. One of the Henrys doesn’t understand his son in the slightest.
 
Say the revolution is the space between two men. Say the monarchy is the space between two men. The monarchy starts a hare because it has more to lose. The revolution had nothing in the first place, and besides, the blood more stirs to rouse a lion. They fight over a sandwich God rejected, with men as their weapons.
 
Two Henrys think they should have been switched at birth. One of them wants to tear the world apart and one of them wants to make it better. Which England do you want? The burning earth or the invading army? There will be a fight soon and you’ll have to choose. For now it’s nothing so dramatic. Carouse in Eastcheap or mock a popinjay. Choose one, but be warned that either could shift the planet on its axis.
 
Three of the Henrys are married, but none of them are married to you. You thought you might be, once, but you can be satisfied with affection and mutual respect. You pretend to be Henry and he pretends to be his father. For a few minutes you’re almost family, and you try to keep it that way. If only it could be so easy to change your name, your face, your nature.
 
Henry defends his father from a man who runs. Henry defends his father from the speculation about his absence. The two Henrys finally meet. Henry is not afraid. If he dies today, it will be at the hands of another Henry, one he’d be proud to know in any other life. Everything starts or everything changes with the moments they have. Now you must choose. Which future do you want, which England? It’s all over now. Henry stands victorious over the Henry who lies bleeding on the ground.
 
One Henry leaves behind a Kate and leaves her childless. He is the last of his line. Another Henry grows up, reforms, and marries a Kate. His son is the first of their line who counts as royalty. Henry thinks about that other Henry, the one he killed. It could have been so beautiful. What would we have done together, Henry? But Henry can’t answer. Rest his soul, he’s dead. So he settled for the best he could get. Kiss me, Kate. Now kiss me.


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This is really clever and interesting. :-) My Memory of Henry IV pt 1 is a little vague, but even so, I liked that a lot! :-)

Thanks. I highly recommend it, because there's a bunch of nice snappy dialogue. I am beginning to get moved to the Henry V camp though. Because Scroop, and Falstaff, and the Boy who never gets a name but dies anyway.

Henry V is the most amazing and wonderful bit of propaganda ever written. :-D (After a little touch of Harry in the night, are you?) I have seen Henry IV, but only pt1. As I said elsewhere, I do mean to catch up on my missing Shakespeare, but it's going to be slow...

But this, this is really interesting and you weave a clever pattern with the words.

I haven't actually seen any of the histories, and I too have only read part one. I'm always after a little touch of Harry.

I read an interesting essay by Kenneth Brannagh that said Laurence Olivier's version of Henry V was much more heavily propaganda than his was. And then when KB made his movie, he reinstated some of the stuff that demonstrated the instability of a wartime cabinet.

But as soon as I'm done reading up on Henrys, I plan to watch KB's Henry V.

Thank you so much, again. I like creating patterns

I did Henry V for A-Level many moons ago, so we watched the BBC Henry IV pt 1 for background, the Olivier Henry V, the Branagh and the BBC version, and saw the RSC do it at Stratford, so it (and Twelfth Night, which we also did) is the play I know best.

The thing about Henry & propaganda is that (and while I did history, the Wars of the Roses was never covered on anything I did, so my knowledge is vaguer than some periods) Shakespeare took a king who was short-lived and by all accounts pretty ruthless, if not just cruel and not only made him a fascinating character, but turned the play itself into (as you can see) about being about the idea of kingship, and what it should look like - because Henry V leads to the Tudor connection, (therefore he has to be a good king), which was what I meant rather than the Battle of Britain parallels, although Olivier's use of it is very interesting. Making it at the time he did, he excises some of the 'dubious' bits - like the endlessly contentious bit about killing the prisoners, or the betrayal at the start. I do remember that it had my favourite Constable of France, though. (His "Indeed it is a most excellent... horse," or whatever the line is was splendidly snarky. I was upset when he was killed.) I love Branagh's version - it has Ian Holm in it!! We ended up voting the BBC version our favourite, though - for being complete! (The live performance was absolutely amazing - they did the first scene completely differently to any other version - played it as if it was exciting and the whole thing took off.)

Anyway, sorry. Apparently, I can remember more than I thought about Henry V. ;-) Which I love, the Chorus, the speeches, the debate on kingship. (My favourite episode of one of my fave shows, Spooks, has a moment where two characters are debating about leadership and start quoting it, which I adore: "Lay all your troubles on the king? You don't get to do that..." How much more can you ask for in a bit of TV?)

THIS IS FABULOUS. Some of it is over my head but all the incessant detail given out in this sparse-sentenced Hemingway-esque sequence is blowing my mind, yo. I love that you've mimicked Siken's form, and that the name Henry is in Crush so much even though these are from You Are Jeff, so it evokes Siken on yet another level!

my favorite parts:

One of the sons becomes a new person and one of the fathers has other people become him.

THE REVOLUTION IS THE SPACE BETWEEN TWO MEN
THE MONARCHY IS THE SPACE BETWEEN TWO MEN
great use of the phrase for different things! so appropriate and so topical to your Henrys!

Two Henrys think they should have been switched at birth. One of them wants to tear the world apart and one of them wants to make it better. Which England do you want?
Carouse in Eastcheap or mock a popinjay. Choose one

Henry is not afraid. If he dies today, it will be at the hands of another Henry, one he’d be proud to know in any other life.

Henry stands victorious over the Henry who lies bleeding on the ground.
!!!!

AND KATE OMG


THIS LAST PART
PERFECT

Henry thinks about that other Henry, the one he killed. It could have been so beautiful. What would we have done together, Henry? But Henry can’t answer. Rest his soul, he’s dead. So he settled for the best he could get. Kiss me, Kate. Now kiss me.

!!!! all of it omg omg. It starts where I am certain they are different Henries and you are categorizing them and listing them, but then by the end the Henries blend and interact and question each other and accept each other and fight themselves and omg how wonderful. **___**

omg omg. Your words about my words make my words sound so much more than they were before. Thank you thank you.

"incessant detail" I love that phrase and that it is used on something I wrote and that it's a good thing for you.

I have not read Crush. At least, not all of it and not it the right order. My library has no Siken. None. Where can I get hold of all the Siken? And oooh, I didn't know about Henry being there too, and that's beautiful.

You have so many favorite parts, oh goodness, I don't know what to do about all of them, besides revel in the fact that you love them.

And yes, the spaces between two men! I lifted that right from You Are Jeff, but it took on new meaning when I made it not gods and devils, but real things that happen to real men who need to make a choice. (fangirling my own thing much? But no, it's also fangirling Shakespeare who made it happen)

you give me exclamations and allcaps, you make me happy. Oh goodness, Kate, all the love for her. Both of them really. There's the one married to Hotspur who really loves him and worries about him, and then there's the one from France who gets transplanted and learns English and becomes an angel and her son is half of a tentative peace between two countries.

And the other Kate, the one this line is from, the one who isn't in any of the histories, but gives up everything and her identity and marries Petrucio anyway and tells all the women off for not obeying their husbands and trusting them in everything

And yes, what you said here: It starts where I am certain they are different Henries and you are categorizing them and listing them, but then by the end the Henries blend and interact and question each other and accept each other and fight themselves is exactly what I meant to happen here. Except that it started as an accident.

For now I'll stop rambling about myself, but if you want to discuss and hear about the *process* I'm always here and always willing to carry on long conversations that stretch into the early morning. Or not.

I AM GLAD I AM GLAD. it has been ages since I have looked critically (you know what I mean, like literary criticism, not being critical) at poetry, so I am glad to hear that what I say adds to things :) :) :) :)

I SENT THAT PDF TO YOU RIGHT? RIGHT? omg. I think it's the only book he's published... you can get it off Amazon for not that much money. It's totally worth it as a book purchase.

but it took on new meaning when I made it not gods and devils, but real things that happen to real men who need to make a choice.
You are right, yes, but just saying this also reminds me that gods and devils are just aspects/facets/parts of real men, just like all the Jeffs are different Jeffs but also identical in that poem. So it both works on a literal concrete level that you wrote, and an elevated archetypal level that Siken originally wrote. Very cool :D I like having both to reference each other!

When you say one of the Kates becomes an angel do you mean she literally becomes an angel in the play??? COOL

I think your process is v. cool! It seems like you wrote this as sort of an essay-poem and I love what it turns into towards the end. You know how sometimes when you write an essay and get to the end and realize, ah, that's where this was going? This poem strikes me as one of those things. I would love to see this go further into not just outlining the Henrys and the Kates and who they are, but also inventing who they are, the way that You Are Jeff invents Jeff and the speaker over and over. The form and repetition of the sentences works so well for this transformation by reiteration and restatement. I'd enjoy seeing how you would do more of this, or how you would do it differently, now that you've written what you've written!

You did send me the PDF. I haven't read it yet, but when it's the weekend I for sure will.

Yeah, yeah, gods and devils and facets of each other. Also it reminds me of a part from Henry V when the soldiers are complaining that it's all the king's fault if they die in this invasion in France. So in that way they elevate him to be way more than he really is. And he's a king, so he can't show the strain, but he monologues about how he's a man too.

She doesn't become an angel, no, but there's a part of Henry V where he's wooing Kate and this conversation happens:
Henry: Tell me, Kate, do you like me?
Kate: I do not know what is "like me".
Henry: An angel is like you and you are like an angel.
So he plays with language there, (which is very Siken in itself) and creates their identities. And there's the thing about angel/Anglo implied in there.

I just started out writing a story and then I wrote a bit without specifying which Henry was which and it worked really well so I continued. Because they all do want to be each other and Henry IV mentions that he'd be really happy if Hal and Hotspur had been switched at birth by fairies. They reinvent themselves and each other so many times throughout this play, it's crazy.

What's really cool about this play is how it starts in three different arenas - the palace, the tavern, and the rebel camp - but then as it goes on they merge and change. Prince Hal rallies the troops to bring them to put down the rebellion, and then Falstaff takes charge. So for a while all of the Henrys are in this militaristic mindset, and when it's all over Hal moves towards the royal sphere and Falstaff is a general, but feels more comfortable in the tavern after all.

If I did more, I'd go into how different Henry IV and Henry Percy are, because I've gone into plenty of detail about the sons, but now I'm interested in the dads. Also, there's a scene where Henry and Henry are fighting and Falstaff and another guy are fighting. Falstaff pretends to die so his enemy will leave him alone and Hotspur actually dies. Henry says a little prayer over both the bodies and when he's gone, Falstaff stabs him and says that Hotspur was faking too and he valiantly killed him for real. So there's death not being death and kings not being kings.

But yeah, this play is so full of costumes and recreating yourself, it was perfect. I recommend reading it if you haven't already.

Henrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyys. Oh man this is awesome, a really clever sort of rewriting of the plays, and I love your play with the fact that all of them are Henry.

kadjwpoaij I just love the whole Hal-cycle SO MUCH. WHICH ENGLAND, indeed.

Thank you so much. I love all of the Henrys, even the one who killed Richard because there are so very many different layers to work with here. ALL OF THE HALS EVER!

I also recently watched the Henry V with Kenneth Brannagh and I was thinking of posting a really long review/rambling notes. Would you be interested in reading my thoughts on this?

YES PLEASE THOUGHTS ON THAT. I will rewatch so I am prepared :DDD

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