• Unless to Spy My Shadow in the Sun

    Katy Didden

    Winter 2017

    after watching an all-male production of Richard III

    Pretend you’re Anne.
    Pretend you are a man
    who plays an Anne
    who spits into the face
    of Gloucester.
    Can a man expand
    what we know of Anne?
    Take our standards—
    failing the ideal, he
    makes it more unreal
    that Anne believes
    a wasting grief has made her
    beautiful.  Yet see how
    he-as-she demands
    our sympathy, proving
    man understands
    Anne’s suffering.
    It’s hard to tell what to pity—
    did Anne fall for
    the love-struck man
    that Richard played,
    the version of herself
    he said he saw,
    or just for Richard?
    And if we’re willing to believe
    when a man plays a man
    playing a man in love
    with a man-as-Anne,
    aren’t we, in some sense,
    already Anne?

    Katy Didden is the author of The Glacier’s Wake (Pleiades Press, 2013). A former Hodder fellow at Princeton University, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Ball State University.

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