A Shakespeare Poem for Every Mood | #BookBreak

Welcome back to Book Break! I am here today at Shakespeare’s Globe, which
is very very exciting. And, surprise surprise, we’re going to be
talking about Shakespeare today! And how relatable his writing still is today. By looking at a Shakespeare poem for every
mood. So, I am here today with Sarah Llewellyn-Shore,
and we’er going to be going through this amazing book, Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year,
which I have found so useful going through and finding it’s got little poems, little
quotes on every page, with a little bit of introduction to give you some context. So, that is where Sarah comes in. So do you
want to explain a bit about what you do here? Yeah, so I’m an actress originally, also I’m
a youth theatre director here. And I am, something I’m really proud of, I’m
a storyteller, so what we do is we take a Shakespeare play, and then we turn it into
an hour to 45 minute performance, where we retell that story, to many different audiences,
from very young six year olds, right up to adults. Amazing. So, in terms of going through Shakespeare’s
different emotions, let’s kick things off with love. The emotion that maybe he’s most famous for
writing about. Of course, everyone’s heard the sonnet that
starts Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? But I have been going through to look at ones
that are maybe a little less cliche. The poem that’s been put on here for the page
for Valentine’s Day is Sonnet 29, which I thought was really funny actually, and really
sweet. So it’s basically, the whole sonnet is this
guy just complaining about his life, and how he’s never really achieved what he wanted
to achieve, and he’s not rich enough and successful enough. But then right at the end he says ‘for thy
sweet love remembered such wealth brings that then I scorn to change my state with kings’ So it’s kind of like reminding himself what
really matters in life, and that his love is the most important. Which I thought was really sweet but quite
a funny one. You know, one of the reasons that I love Shakespeare
is that, I think I was saying to you before, it’s never, it’s never black and white emotions. And we always do, he can relate, if you like,
to human emotion. There’s often times when we think the grass
is greener. Yeah, it’s very real. Which brings me to the next one I picked,
which is also very honest. So this is Sonnet 130. And this is kind of subverting the whole like
‘shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day’ idea, because in this one he starts by saying ‘My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun
Coral is far more red than her lip’s red’ And it goes on basically just saying like,
she’s not all these amazing beautiful things, she’s not as good as this nature or that nature. But then the last bit is ‘And yet by heaven I think my love as rare,
as any she belied with false compare’ So it’s, you know, she might not be as beautiful
as the sun or coral but she’s real and he loves her. Do you have any other favourites on love? To state the obvious, but with Romeo and Juliet When Romeo, Romeo says ‘it is my lady, O it
is my love, O that she knew she were’ There’s that real kind of, it always makes
me feel a bit like that, because there’s that real longing. The significance of the O in that, the kind
of, the surprise, the wonderment, the, all that emotion that’s just in like one letter. Yeah. I think is fantastic. From the poem Venus and Adonis, there was
just one little line I really liked that said ‘love comforteth like sunshine after rain’ Which I really liked, it was really sweet
and simple, but I felt like it was so true. You can almost kind of imagine it being like
a Taylor Swift lyric. Because it’s so relatable! Shakespeare, Taylor Swift, you know, basically
the same. And then while we’re on the topic of love,
I did find one that I thought would be a great reading for a wedding. You said that you had it at your wedding,
so I was right, it was a good one. I conformed to the cliche. No I think it’s great. This is Sonnet 116. ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments Love is not love which alters when it alteration
finds Or bends with the remover to remove
O no. It is an ever fixed mark.’ I mean obviously I had it at my wedding, so
I love that. Good reason, it’s a brilliant one. OK, so moving on to, linked to love but a
more complicated emotion, again very relatable to a lot of people, is jealousy. I really love the way that Shakespeare is
able to show jealousy through Leontes in A Winter’s Tale. Especially for young people, children who
have all these emotions, and jealousy’s quite prevalent, it’s a very natural human emotion,
that we are taught to repress. It’s almost like a guilty thing to feel jealous. And actually when Leontes says ‘too hot, too
hot’, it’s a really good way for children to kind of go ‘yeah actually, that, I can’t
describe exactly what this is, but this is the feeling that I’ve got, this heat, this
kind of bubbling that I can’t contain, that overspills.’ OK, so the next emotion I was looking at is
that of missing somebody, so I found here Sonnet 97, which had a really good description
I thought I used to be in a long distance relationship
and I read this and was like ‘oh god, that really cut me deep’ So the first line I’ll just read is ‘how like
a winter hath my absence been from thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year’ And then the sonnet goes on to describe how
it’s actually summer at the time he’s writing it, but he just kind of can’t enjoy all the
beautiful nature without the person he wants to share them with, and I think that’s something,
whether, you know, whether it’s a long distance relationship, or just a friend who’s far away
that you want to share things That’s such a kind of true thing that You’re experiencing something that should
make you happy, and you can’t, because you want to share it with someone Yeah, he understands those emotions, and is
able to depict them so beautifully with the imagery. It’s not the way we talk every day, you know,
it’s not the way that we express ourselves, but perhaps it’s the way that we internally
express ourselves, but we’re just not ‘allowed’ or don’t feel that we can flood our language,
if you like, with these kind of self-expressions. Yeah, that’s really interesting, and someone
writing so long ago to still be able to cut straight to the heart of what we’re feeling. It’s so relatable! I think if you look at any of his plays, there
will be at least one thing you can relate to. So, the next emotion, a big one, is heartbreak. Oh, yes. This is one we’ve all felt, and, you know,
it can be very all-consuming. Just a really really simple one I found from
As You Like It. ‘True is it that we have seen better days’ Which I really liked because it’s so simple,
and it’s quite wistful, it’s not desperately sad, it’s actually quite a nice acknowledgement
that you have gone through nice things together. But it’s just, I think that kind of wistfulness
is what made it feel really really sad to me. So that one I really liked. Do you have any favourite ones about heartbreak? I do. Again I’m going back to The Winter’s Tale. Paulina says ‘O cut my lace, lest my heart,
cracking it, break too’ Mmm. And You can just I mean ‘cut my lace’, it’s Everybody was corseted, women were corseted
at that time, and you can just imagine the heartbreak is
so huge that the corset can’t contain how big her heartbreak is. It’s like what you said earlier about, that
might not be the way we talk, you know if I was sad and I walked into a room and was
like ‘oh you know, rip off my clothes because my heart’s breaking’, people would be like
‘all right, calm down’ But actually sometimes that is the way it
feels, you know when you’re alone in your room and you’re crying, it does feel like
your heart is physically breaking apart We don’t talk that way, but we still feel
that way Absolutely, it’s what we carry. We all carry something And If I, if you were having the worst day ever,
which I hope you’re not, but if I said to you today ‘how are you’, you’d probably go
‘yeah I’m ok’ Yeah But it’s, it’s what we carry, and it’s how
we describe, you know, that whatever it is, that weight, or that heat, or that, that breaking
apart. And yeah, Shakespeare’s just a master of it
for me. It is pure poetry of the soul. Yeah. I think. Absolutely. So while we’re on the topic of sad things,
I found some quotes that I thought would be good for funerals. So this one here is one that I definitely
had heard before, that particular quote. ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on,
and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’ And then finally, so we’ve been talking about
end of life, if we move on to talk about beginning of life, something a bit nicer. So a really sweet one from Much Ado About
Nothing. ‘Then there was a star danced, and under that
was I born’ I kind of thought that would be a nice inscribing
on a present for a new baby or something. That one’s really beautiful. It’s nice isn’t it? No I really love that. This, there’s lots of different references
to, to stars and astrology in Shakespeare’s plays. Which helps us invest in the magic. Yeah! Oh brilliant, well thank you so much for helping
bring Shakespeare to life for me. You’re welcome! It’s been great. And I’ll put everything in the description
box below if you want to book yourself into one of the storytelling sessions, they sound
really amazing. I love them. Telling Tales is for, usually for families,
so it’s about making sure that the young ones can understand and follow the story, so you
have to have clarity, but it also has to be interactive. They have to feel like they’re part of the
story, that’s really really key and really important. And it’s also about sparking something in
them. So making them curious. Oh it sounds amazing, I want to go! Come! Yeah, sounds brilliant. So do give this video a thumbs up and leave
a comment if you’ve got any Shakespeare poems and quotes of your own. And of course, hit that subscribe button below
for new Book Break videos every Thursday. Coming up next week we’re talking about books
to make a difference in the world. So don’t miss out on that one. See you next time!
Thank you!

6 thoughts on “A Shakespeare Poem for Every Mood | #BookBreak

  1. Loved this video, reminded me of studying Shakespeare at school and uni … except I don't have to write an essay now!

  2. Don't you just LOVE Shakespeare! And for the saddest line ever…. "I was adored once, too" (Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night).

  3. I just love that line from Ten Things I Hate About You(/Taming of the Shrew) "She hates him with the fire of a thousand suns. And that's a quote." So enjoyable!

  4. I love sonnet 130 – it also reminds me of one of my favourite Billy Collins poems, Litany:

    You are the bread and the knife,
    the crystal goblet and the wine.
    You are the dew on the morning grass
    and the burning wheel of the sun.
    You are the white apron of the baker,
    and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

    However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
    the plums on the counter,
    or the house of cards.
    And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
    There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

    It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
    maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
    but you are not even close
    to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

    And a quick look in the mirror will show
    that you are neither the boots in the corner
    nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

    It might interest you to know,
    speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
    that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

    I also happen to be the shooting star,
    the evening paper blowing down an alley
    and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

    I am also the moon in the trees
    and the blind woman's tea cup.
    But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
    You are still the bread and the knife.
    You will always be the bread and the knife,
    not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.

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