The Voice of Thespes

by Danielle Shelley Carr


Through the passages you will hear them cry
ghosts of centuries past
the ghosts of the theatre

within the walls you could hear their whispers,
in the hallways, behind the curtain

as usherettes hold their lights

in the lantern’s glow the shapely face is revealed
the man who sits in the front seat
knows all the words, all the action

for he is the mind of theatre
he is the one with all knowledge
drawn upon his spirit are lines,
of love, and tragedy;
of the fateful stories which bind humankind.

Holding a torch to all the action on the stage
are the Medeas and Dionysus
the ushers of the passage way, on the stairs to enlightenment

witness the grandeur, the live staging of story
the glamour, the applause, all the fripperies that make theatre glow
just like flames in the dark

in faraway graveyards in the outer bush, under falling leaves
written on the tombs of legendary actors
you will find the most dramatic words
poetry made for a moving piece of theatre

and hear their ghostly cries in the foyers
cries of madness or torment
rising up from their graves
still to be heard in the theatrical dome
and in the wings of the stage

haunting those who wait in the shadows and on the stairs
the emotions felt when in the grip of a character
the thought, the intent, the sweat of labour
the voices in the darkness
the energy of the crowd
the madness of an art

and the usher walks away, and turns down the flame of the lamp
once more, disappearing behind the curtain
taking with her the ghosts of ages past
of all its actors impressed upon her mind
the imprint of all their emotions, too

From Thespes to Sophocles, and throughout the ages
she is inspired by Dionysus,
possessed of his energy
his spirit wills her to speak the words
drawing his ghost into existence upon her breath
and she becomes the mind of theatre
its very spirit

the voices in the dark
have whispered to her
and inspired her
lifted her up into the dome
and she takes her place within the spotlight
speaking their words at last,
the words that we wanted to hear.

Danielle Shelley Carr

Danielle Shelley Carr's picture

Born Melbourne, Australia, 1970, Named after famous English Gothic authoress, Mary Shelley., First began writing novels at age twelve after seeing a clip from the film, Wuthering Heights, (1939), (possibly) distant relative of acclaimed British author David Peace, by way of George Peace (1829), of Ossett, West Yorkshire, who emigrated to Talbot, Victoria, in 1852, Editor, Australis - a collection of writing of academics in the disciplines of Creative Writing and Literature., Her collection of poetry, entitled Ellipse, was published in 2012. Reviewed in The Australian Writer, 2015., A verse novel, Blom, in German, meaning The Transformation, published in 2014. Recorded interview, RRR, Melbourne radio, Multi-Storied program, 27 April 2015., First Prize national writing competition for poetry, (Australia) at age 14., Also author of Gothic thriller novel, 'Blood for St Valentine'., Her books are available in Australian and NZ libraries., Author - thesis - Psychological Reflections on Post - Modernist Gothic Literature - published Deakin University 2014., Poetry published in 'Southerly', Sydney University's national journal (Aust.), Windmills, (Deakin University) and Cursive Scripts (NMIT), and performed by RMIT Theatre, and on radio., Qualifications: B.A. Media Studies - Film, M.A. (Writing and Literature) - Literary Studies, Deakin University.

Last updated March 23, 2012