April is National Poetry Month, and we got to thinking about an unlikely fit for meter and rhyme: Godzilla. Turns out the beast is a fit for classic forms of poetry, from kaiju haiku to Elizabethan sonnets. As part of a charity auction in 2015, Jo Walton was asked by fellow author Ada Palmer to write a sonnet with the theme “Godzilla vs. Shakespeare.” But, as Walton notes, “people usually ask me for such boring things, and this was such a fun one that I ended up writing a whole bunch of them.”
The first sonnet clearly inspired Walton to insert Godzilla into a number of tales, Shakespearean and otherwise. Subsequent sonnets show us Verona fallen to those massive feet (the Montague/Capulet feud stood no chance), and the kaiju even weeping for Baldur…
Here’s the poem that started everything:
i) Godzilla Vs Shakespeare
Up on the ramparts all await their time
Each heroine, the fools and knaves, each king,
Ready to catch our hearts, the play’s the thing
A cockpit where they arm themselves with rhyme.
The monster tries to hide, but shows through plain,
Behind a frond ripped up with giant claws
We see his scaly hide and gaping jaws
As Birnam tropics come to Dunsinane.
All rally to defend now, each with each,
Juliet with dagger, Richard on a horse,
Dear Hamlet with his poisoned foil of course,
Harry with swords and longbows, at the breach.
Godzilla, shuffling closer, knows what’s what.
Size matters. But then so do prose and plot.
You can read the rest on Walton’s site.
Originally published in April 2015.