Destination 1601 (or, To Be or Not to Be Shakespeare)

Resolved to fathom facts at last
I traveled back to seek The Bard
and quash that question of his past:
who penned those plays for all of time
not of an age, with powerful rhyme.

And rushing dumb with much neglect
I donned too new a clothing there,
and passersby did razz and stare
at my bright jacket, sneakers, hair
- and then my voice, that future snarl.

In days those folks I prayed to ask
gave proof this wish were no small task:
I'm not the first gull to return
and scope The Globe, I'm slow to learn,
for sundry "Shakespeares" I would find

with puckish minds to undermine
this inquiry where name's the thing
to catch those vanities we bring.
What's left of wonder: which was he
who knew what fools we moderns be?

Why should this leave me incomplete?
Those poems flowed, from any souls
- William's, else - still read as sweet
while readers dream their many roles
within this world where all's a page
and lines outlive their day and stage.

Destination 1601 (or, To Be or Not to Be Shakespeare) © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

Time Travel to Meet a Hero challenge prompt - link:

My entry was inspired by William Shakespeare, including some riffs off his most famous lines (e.g. "what fools these mortals be" and Sonnet 55's "powerful rhyme").

Beyond that, the plot, as narrated by the speaker of the poem, involves investigation of the so-called Shakespeare Authorship Question:
Submitted: February 8, 2020