Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Birthday in April ~ Shakespeare

Today, the 23rd of April, is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth in 1564, and—52 years later—the anniversary of his death.

~Today's Prompt~
Write a new poem inspired by 
Shakespeare, the Bard.

(From Becky To, with permission)

Shakespeare' influence on the English language and on world literature is hard to measure.  Chiefly remembered for his dramatic works, Shakespeare was also an inspired poet. His sonnet sequence - consisting of 154 separate poems - is often cited as "the finest collection of love poems in the English language."  

Title page of Shakespeare's Sonnets (1609)

It is also one of the most mysterious as scholars still do not know the identity of the young man and the Dark Lady who inspired them.  

File:Statue Of Shakespeare.jpg
Statue of Shakespeare in London. Photo Taken by Lonpicman

Other major poems by Shakespeare are: Venus and Adonis (1593), The Rape of Lucrece (1594) and A Lover's Complaint (1609).  These last are narratives complete with drama. In dialogue, they would be plays.


~Ideas for your Shakespeare-inspired poem~

  1. I imagine that I could share a joke or critique with Shakespeare!  What about you?  Try a poem of dialogue with Shakespeare.  
  2. I imagine rivaling him in writing a poem to or about my love.   How about trying this, in sonnet form or free verse?
  3. Or you may celebrate Shakespeare by letting a phrase or a line of his inspire a poem of your own.  You may choose any line from any Shakespeare’s drama or poems.  Here are a few of my favorite lines which may inspire you: 
~“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” 
~“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?” 
~“So are you to my thoughts as food to life, or as sweet seasoned showers are to the ground.”
~“Why should we rise because 'tis light? Did we lie down because t'was night?” 
~"For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.” 
~“What is your substance, whereof are you made,That millions of strange shadows on you tend?"
~“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
~“If music be the food of love, play on.”
~"Look, how a bird lies tangled in a net, So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies"
~“Now I will believe that there are unicorns...”
~“Sweet are the uses of adversity Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”

Find Shakespeare quotes on the web everywhere, including:  


Remember to share the link to your new poem on Mr. Linky and leave a comment.  
Then come back to read and comment on the rest.


Kay L. Davies said...

Aw, poor old Will. How awful to die on his own birthday.
It is late, and a limerick won't do it for Shakespeare, although a bit of nice nonsense verse isn't entirely out of the question.
I will sleep on it, and arise, mayhap enlightened, nor not arise at all.
I'm feeling Shakespearean already, see?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it was his birthday ... it's a beautiful day on which to celebrate his life and achievements :)

Happy birthday Billy Wobbledagger.

Janine Bollée said...

I usually 'celebrate' his [real] birthday on May 3rd, and read a bit of his work, but for the sake of the tourists and St. George, I'm happy to make an exception this year :-)

Susan said...

Good Morning!! What a great start to a day when we encourage each other to play with things Shakespearean. I am smiling broadly having had sonnets with my breakfast, and I hope to have some nonsense verse by afternoon snack time.

Hannah said...

Thank you!! This was a nice way to start the day. :)

Scarlet said...

A lovely challenge Susan dear ~

My post is up ~

Happy Tuesday to all ~


Maude Lynn said...

Fun, fun!

Unknown said...

I hope it's okay, but I linked to poem I wrote about 2 weeks ago. Can't wait to read everyones poems.

Susan said...

Such variety! SO many different spices! I am having a great day lounging in your words. It will generate a new poem by day's end. I'll be back late afternoon ...

Anonymous said...

There is something so... damned Shakespearean about dying on one's own birthday. I grabbed snippets and created a love story gone wrong. What fun, and happy birthday to the man who gave us the Whirligig! Amy

Herotomost said...

Cool challenge, hope you don't mind a bit of prose. Thanks Susan!

Jinksy said...

I only got round to this prompt late this afternoon, so there is another poem at the top of my post. Please scroll down to visit my blank verse, in (mostly) iambic pentameter, which I blame entirely on the influence of Mr S...

Anonymous said...

PLEASE forgive my posting a second, but I got to thinking about "To be or not to be" and came up with a parody that I simply could not resist posting... Love you Toads, Amy

Kerry O'Connor said...

Two for the price of one - I wrote a sonnet today as a companion to one I wrote two years ago.

Helen said...

My first sonnet ever ... what better day?

Susie Clevenger said...

What inspiration Susan! I am a little late to the party, but best to be late than not at all. :)

Susie Clevenger said...

Ooops..a sonnet I did not write.

Susan said...

The feast continues with nary a dull moment. Imagination flows with deep feeling, as if we cannot help ourselves. I've been laughing a lot and I am loving it!

!Sonnets are not required!

And it's not too late to join the party. We're still in the first 24 hours of it. Come on in, we have weather in the Garden for everyone--heat if you desire, snow to cool off the over-heated, and a steady warmth for those, like me, who stay on the borders of the passionate.

Margaret said...

I hope you don't mind... I borrowed one from my son (who will soon be 21 !!) He LOVES Shakespeare.

Ella said...

Very cool...
I can't wait to read these...

Tawnya Smith said...

The shadowed rabbit seeks to amend, and thus a poem anew has penned.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, Great prompt. I'm so impressed by everyone doing the april poetry thing. k.