Featured Poem: Sonnet 43 by William Shakespeare

It’s Shakespeare Week this week, encouraging younger generations to be inspired through encountering Shakespeare’s stories, language and heritage. Therefore, there could be no other choice than to feature the bard himself as our Monday offering for the week ahead.

Most of us are likely to start off our experiences of Shakespeare by reading the plays while in school or university, but to know the true scope of his work it’s well worth looking at his sonnets too – of which there are a staggering 154. Perhaps if you’re feeling particularly adventurous you could dedicate this week to reading them all?

We’ll give you just one in the meantime, which shows how Shakespeare was the master of inventiveness in his writing. Consider all of the oppositions within…

Sonnet 44

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

William Shakespeare

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You can experience the wonder of one of the Bard’s most classic tales as Romeo and Juliet comes to Calderstones Mansion House this July with Shakespeare’s Globe. See this post for all the details on how you can book your tickets for what promises to be a spectacular version of the enduring love story.

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