The Poet Of Them All…?

Here is a picture of the bard himself:

William Shakespeare

Or if that’s not exactly to your taste, you can always feast your eyes on the image below instead. We understand that Joseph Fiennes might be more people’s cup of tea than an etching of a balding (though talented) playwright.

‘Shakespeare In Love’ (We certainly are!)

Whether or not you agree that Shakespeare was one of the best and most influential poets who ever put pen to paper (or rather, quill to parchment), we think he deserves a little bit of recognition.

Especially today, as it is exactly 396 years since he died. It’s also roughly 448 years since he was born (lots of people will try to tell you he was born on April 23rd as well. As far as I’ve ever discovered, this is merely hypothesis. He was definitely baptised on April 26th, so it’s probable that he was born on the 23rd, but not certain. However, it fits with the patriotic image, and it’s quite neat to have him dying on his birthday, if a little morose, so we’ll let that rest).

To celebrate Shakespeare, the lovely World Book Night people have put a sonnet in the back of each of the 480,000 books they’re giving away today – and if you don’t have one of those books, then never fret, because all the sonnets are available in PDF format here.

Plus a personal favourite of ours:

Sonnet 130
William Shakespeare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfume is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go, –
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

And just in case you’re still hungering for more of the Bard, here’s a little musical treat for you. ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, from Kiss Me Kate, the musical adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew.

(Unfortunately, the subtitles stop once the actual song starts, but if you actually go to YouTube to watch the clip, the lyrics are all written out below the video, so if you really want to sing along, you can.) Enjoy!

Thanks to and for the images.


One Response to The Poet Of Them All…?

  1. Pingback: World Shakespeare Festival « Katie Hale [poetry]

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