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michael shepherd

Updated: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 02:58 pm

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I'm partially disabled and housebound these days -- with plenty of time to write poetry IF it writes itself... So if anyone would like to perform this poem at a slam, they're very welcome : if they would be good enough to let me know the response (and why haven't there been more poems written on this theme ? Poets as 'the unacknowledged legislators of mankind' etc...) * My poems have hitherto appeared only on


The quality of mercy (conditions apply). * The quality of mercy, Portia declared, the quality of mercy is suspended during the present conflict the quality of mercy is not the business of a Minister of Justice the quality of mercy is not a matter of individual conscience the quality of mercy is too subtle for public discussion or law the quality of mercy is only for Shakespeare and stuff the quality of mercy is less stimulating than revenge the quality of mercy is no business of yours the quality of mercy is no concern of religious authorities who should stay silent the quality of mercy is an outdated concept the quality of mercy is nothing to do with forgiveness or circumstantial evidence or the remission of sins the quality of mercy is no longer a matter of pride the quality of mercy is no longer a mark of humanity the quality of mercy droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven upon a broken fuselage and it is too much or too little for our understanding.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 25th Apr 2011 14:32

It has been a year since my last message (the last message recorded here). It is quite amazing how often your name crosses my mind. You did make a lasting impression.

If this attempt 'flies' to someone else's computer, I would sure like to know if Michael is still alive and well, and writing. If I receive no reply, I won't make contact again. Thank you.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 10th Apr 2010 22:14

Michael, I'm hoping you are well. We have not seen you here in weeks. I was enough interested to check on PoemHunter to see if you were enjoying participation on that venue, only to find you are bloody famous! If I had any doubts about the 'right Michael', they were gone when I read the 'scrolly thing on the Irish tombstone'! Wow. I do hope you are OK.

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kealan coady

Tue 12th Jan 2010 14:45

thank you for the advice, it is good advice. as long as my fingers can hold a pen i will continue to write.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 29th Oct 2009 11:02

I must insert the lol symbolism when I'm joking; I thought the hyperbole would suffice. So you read discussion threads too, do you? Eggshells indeed.
Thanks much....seriously.

<Deleted User> (6560)

Mon 26th Oct 2009 17:34

Excuse me while I remove these eggshells from my shoe, Cynthia... I must have trodden on them.. :-)

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 26th Oct 2009 17:22

Poor 'Esther' - a poem you would read in an ANTHOLOGY! - a pay-as-you-go ANTHOLOGY! Oh, horrors! You know how to cut to the bone.

But, actually, I don't agree with you. It has received much praise from the time of its composition, from all walks of life, especially mothers, but including men who aren't even fathers.

However, I would like to know why you feel as you do about it. I would welcome greatly such input. It promises maybe a new learning curve for me.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 25th Oct 2009 15:37

Michael, I cannot access my email at all. I do look forward to seeing your comments about 'Esther' whatever they might be.

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Nichola Burrows

Fri 9th Oct 2009 16:43

The 'camera angle shot' so to speak was the poem Michael, thanks ever so much for your comments, great and 'spot on'. It wasn't intended to be a 'weepy poem'. If you are interested I will email the original that I wrote some 17 years ago, I have written it from a different perspective, the result of you have read. I would like your perspective on each. Do you mind?

<Deleted User> (6560)

Fri 9th Oct 2009 16:31

There's also a parallel poem in there which is really your intention and 'camera angle' -- you watching you watching her.. I think it's rather difficult to combine the two without sentiment threatening to raise its weepy head !

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Nichola Burrows

Fri 9th Oct 2009 16:04

Funny, now you say that it does run a little like Rear Window, can almost see James Stewart sat there, watching. Narrative paints a picture, which, the subjective reader then interprets and imagines, I actually take that as a compliment.
Was it mean't to be? - on the right path by the way with interpretation but not quite worthy of Hitchcock. :-)

<Deleted User> (6560)

Fri 9th Oct 2009 16:00

Nicky Picky --
Well since you ask -- a dozen roses was the standard male 'message' in the days before we went metric.. and the z of dozen goes with the z of rozes better than 'ten roses' for those of us who love the sounds of poetry at the expense of sense..

Don't tell anyone this -- but the first poet I admired was Cole Porter... I still hear the music before the words in a subtle fact I've recently wondered (after philosophy class) whether there's a music of truth that runs through a thought into speech into action.. I wrote a poem about this but it would look a bit pretentious if I posted it..

Back in the 1930s or so, when psychology was very fashionable in artistic circles, 'free association poetry' was quite the thing... so ringaringaroses and fling and bling and Cole Porter... geddit ?

Which reminds, don't encourage the old gasbag...


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Nichola Burrows

Fri 9th Oct 2009 15:25

This system of leaving comments sometimes makes my blood boil, - early heart attack? Hope not, I eat my veggies etc.

I really enjoyed your poem by the way. Did you count the twelve roses as part of the poem or was that accidental?

Honest answer.

nicky x

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Chris Dawson

Tue 29th Sep 2009 23:06

Thank-you Michael, for reading my work, and for your very kind comments - made my day!

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Dave Morgan

Mon 14th Sep 2009 20:57

Mike thanks for your kind comments on the John Jelly piece. I think your poem Quality of Mercy is very important. I missed it at Wigan on Thursday I'm sorry to say. I'm not sure how long we (celtic, roman, anglo saxon, norman, catholic, protestant, evangelistic mongrels) can pretend we're a Christian country if we don't even subscribe to one of the man's fundamental tenets.

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Cate Greenlees

Sun 13th Sep 2009 23:17

Hi Michael, I was at the Tudor too on Thurday and heard your poem read by Yolande. Both the poem and the reading were beautiful.
Cate xx

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Fri 11th Sep 2009 06:42

Yolande did indeed read your poem last night - beautifully. It was good to hear it read out loud and it was very well received. xx


Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:54

Hi Michael
In that case I will read it at The Tudor on Thursday, will invite comments, and play the feedback to you on Friday when I get chance to go online.
Regards Yolande

<Deleted User> (6560)

Mon 7th Sep 2009 20:08

Yolande, that's good of you... it's the nearest I ever got to a rant or a slam poem, so I'd be interested to know how it goes down ! esp. since mercy is out of fashion these days..


Mon 7th Sep 2009 19:33

Hello Michael,
The Quality Of Mercy is a lovely thought provoking poem and I would be privileged to read it for you.
Regards Yolande.

<Deleted User> (6484)

Mon 7th Sep 2009 15:38

Thanks Michael, sincerly.

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Mon 31st Aug 2009 11:53

More poems on the quality of mercy or the wonder of creation? I would be happy to read any of your work at an event - it is lovely. If you live anywhere near Wigan would also be happy to assist in getting you to a venue so you could read your own. Just let me know.

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