01 January 1970

Three Hamlet-Inspired Poems

Weekend Reads

Three Hamlet-Inspired Poems

California-based academic and novelist Simrita Dhir writes three poems for Outlook.

Simrita Dhir writes three Hamlet-inspired poems.
Simrita Dhir writes three Hamlet-inspired poems. Getty Images

Simrita Dhir contemplates on the Shakespearean masterpiece Hamlet. Affirming the play’s core engagements with grief, love, friendship, and death, she also imagines parallel realities in three soul-stretching poems. 

What Hamlet Knew and Not

He knew many things —
Passion, friendship, integrity, belief, 
Science, astronomy, philosophy. 
If only he knew that the 
Brook ran full and blue,
Jilting was no jesting,
Grief was bottomless, deep and devastating.
A girl wilted, dropped and drowned.
Was he to blame, or too much love?

That Horatio

He was many things —
Steadfast, loyal, true,
Cultured, educated, committed,
Proud, purposeful,
Calm, resolute, rational.

Unwavering friend to Hamlet,
A glittering star in defiled skies,
He was devout, dependable, self-effacing.

He showed us many things —
No one is really as alone as they think they are.
Affinity outlasts time, destiny, death.
To relay a dead friend’s story is to resurrect belief, reinstate goodness, render him eternal.

Letter to Ophelia

In a parallel universe,
Love is steadfast, pristine, everlasting,
Fathomless like the ocean.

The brook runs full and blue, but it’s not lethal.
The flowers in your hair are sparkling stars,
You blabber on like there is no tomorrow.

Your lover is compassionate, loyal, concerned, coherent. 
You are you — honest, hopeful, naive, cherished, never forsaken.
And always, always ALIVE.

(Simrita Dhir is a California-based academic and novelist. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Rainbow Acres.)