Undead, or not undead, that is the question:

Whether ’tis folklore in the skull to suffer

Hamstrings, bone marrow and contagious torsion,

Or to lose arms against a bleed of muscles

And decomposing rend them. To un-die—to speak,

No more; and by an eek to say we end

The heartbeat and the defibrillator shocks

That flesh is bare to: ’tis a consumption

Devoutly to be squish’d. To un-die, to groan;

To groan, perchance to moan—ay, there’s a grub:

For in that rise from grave what screams may come,

When we have scoffed this mortal girl,

Must give us paws—there’s the suspect

That makes agony of so mort strife.

For who would bear the welts and sores of time,

Th’depressor’s wrong, the shrouded man’s bloody,

The pangs of disembowelled lungs, the maw’s dismay,

The sinfulness of orifice, and the burns

That ancient spirit of th’un-warty takes,

When he himself might rigor mortis make

With a buried body? Who would gargoyles scare,

To affront and threat under an eerie strife,

But that the dread of something after breath,

The un-dismember’d grungy, from whose reborn

No cadaver churns, guzzles the kill,

And makes us rather glare those spills we have

Than pry open others that we know not of?

Thus monsters make devourers of us all,

And thus the grated spew of red pollution

Is sicked up o’er with the pale cast of rot,

And interred crises of great ditch and rodent

With this head marred their abhorrence turn awry

And lose the maim of ashen.

This horror twist on Shakespeare’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ soliloquy from Hamlet was written following Sophie’s workshop about All Hallow’s Eve celebrations across the world 28-10-20. Just a bit of spooky fun…

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