William Shakespeare calls the Poetry Crisis Line (as himself, this time)

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

COUNSELOR: In what way are they not like the sun? I mean, uh–

CALLER: Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

COUNSELOR: I thought coral was more pinkish. Or if it dries out, then it turns white.

CALLER: If snow be white,

COUNSELOR: No, I was still talking about coral.


COUNSELOR: You brought it up, sir.

CALLER: then her breasts are dun;

COUNSELOR:  Done with what? Did she just wean a kid? Or are you–

CALLER: If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

COUNSELOR: Now she sounds like a cyborg. Did you just call me to complain about your girlfriend’s looks?

CALLER: I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

COUNSELOR: Did she hear you complaining? Flowers might be a good start, but it sounds like you need to work on communication skills–and on reasonable expectations. You may want to talk to a couples counselor.

CALLER: But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

COUNSELOR: Or a face painter. I mean, if that’s what she’s into–

CALLER: And in some perfumes is there more delight

COUNSELOR: Have you asked her what she likes? Perfumes, or flowers, or face painting? What would she want to see or hear from you?

CALLER: Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

COUNSELOR: No, I don’t think that’s something any woman would want to hear.

CALLER: I love to hear her speak,

COUNSELOR: That’s much better. And in the long run, it may be more important than how she looks.

CALLER: yet well I know  / That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

COUNSELOR: And we’re back to expectations. You can’t expect your girlfriend to be some goddess.

CALLER: I grant I never saw a goddess

COUNSELOR: Of course not. May I say something about expectations?


COUNSELOR: See, society sets up these lofty expectations that no one can really meet.

CALLER: My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.


CALLER: And yet, by heaven,

COUNSELOR: So on heaven and earth at once? That’s not very common.

CALLER:  I think my love as rare

COUNSELOR: See, now you’re getting somewhere. You complain about the things you don’t like, but deep down you know she’s special. Like…uh, like…

CALLER: As any she belied with false compare

COUNSELOR: So she does it too, huh? I’ve seen that happen. It’s sad when women feel the need to compare themselves to others.

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