Slam in the Park

We know that it’s July, but we wanted to share with you a fantastic happening every April: a gathering in Central Park to read Shakespeare’s sonnets (not plays). It is the Annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Slam, which started in 2010, and—rain or shine—all of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets are read aloud.

Shakespeare had 2 personalities: the one that wrote plays with plots, like playwrights today, and the other who wrote sonnets based on his view of life. These sonnets are his expressions, his thoughts, his own dreams.
We read about this event in The New Yorker and wanted to share this article with you today, where the author, Adam Gopnik, wonders “can love, and its songs, go on forever?” as he ventures through the various types of love Shakespeare expressed in his wide-ranging sonnets. This is a magnificent event, especially for those wanting something more interactive than seeing a Shakespeare play.

Sonnet Slam does not have yet have details of their 2016 event yet posted (that we found), however, as we hear further news, we will pass it along!

The article is June, Moon, Tune by Adam Gopnik and found in the July 6 & 13, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.

Illustration by Eiko Ojala--click on photo to go to The New Yorker online

Illustration by Eiko Ojala–click on photo to go to The New Yorker online

See what Shakespeare is saying here:

Sonnet 18:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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