Valentine’s Day

Farewell February; Hello March!

February was a short but busy month for us at Shakespeare in Action, as it marked our 5th annual Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day fundraiser!

Sonnet Kids – Dushane, Ivy, Nicholas, Saskia, and Thomas – all began their journeys in different places – our Summer Camp for Kids and the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club sessions at Brookbanks, Highland Creek, Main Street, and St. Jamestown public libraries.

We spent time together unpacking sonnets 18, 29, 105, and 116 – discovering rhyme scheme, sorting out characters’ thoughts and feelings, and using the hundred-odd words that the kids recognized to decode the half dozen words that they had never seen before. On Valentine’s Day, they were ready to deliver sonnet-grams to unsuspecting recipients in Canada and the US!

Thank you: To all the parents and guardians for their time and encouragement; to CBC Metro Morning for showcasing this program and helping us reach a new audience; to Pizzaville (College and Roxton), Metro (College and Shaw), and our favourite bookstore, Doug Miller Books (now at 650 Bloor Street West!) for adding the gift of great food and reads to our festivities; and to everyone who purchased a sonnet for a loved one, in support of literacy and live theatre!

A warm thank-you to all the supporters of Sonnets by Kids for Valentine's Day!

A warm thank-you to everyone who supported Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

It's time to give Shakespeare a makeover...or shall we say a Shakeover?!  Looks like the Bard is ready for "the winter of our discontent."

It’s time to give Shakespeare a makeover…or shall we say a Shakeover?! Looks like the Bard is ready for “the winter of our discontent.”

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca smile for the camera.

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca! And, wait, who’s that in the middle?

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

8-year-old Ivy's translation of Sonnet 116

8-year-old Ivy’s translation of Sonnet 116

Advertisements

Top 5 “Romantic” (Meaning Crazy) Moments from William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare has been lauded with creating the most beautiful romantic moments of all time. Yet, as much as William loves marriage and romance, it seems most of his depictions of romance are also his depictions of total insanity. Here for this Valentine’s Day, here are Shakespeare’s most “romantic” moments; and by ‘romantic’, I mean delusional and very twisted.

5) Twelfth Night, Malvolio Dresses Crazy For Love (Act 3, Scene 4)
While Shakespeare may have fooled us into thinking it is the romance between Viola and Cesario that is the height of the play, it is clearly Malvolio who shows us the proper levels of passion for Valentine’s Day. When Maria sends him a letter pretending to be Olivia, Malvolio will do anything to impress her, including reading strange quotations from said letter and humiliating himself with a ridiculous outfit, crossed garters and yellow stockings. Love literally makes you crazy, and Malvolio is proof.

4) Macbeth, Lady MacBeth Councils her Husband Post-Murder (Act 2, Scene 2)

When you’ve got some stresses going on there’s no one better to help calm you down than your one and only. One of the possibly biggest stresses could come from your plan to murder the King in order to take over the throne, and thank god Macbeth has Lady Macbeth to help calm him down after this task. Essentially, Lady Macbeth just points out all the things he did wrong, and how she would’ve done this a lot better (and I don’t doubt that), but at the end, when he is feeling that guilt as he looks at his bloody hands, Lady Macbeth cleans them off for him. That’s probably the sweetest moment between the two… all in the middle of an insane murder plot.

3) Hamlet, Hamlet Calls Ophelia Many Things (Act 3, Scene 1)

Hamlet in general just seems like such a charmer; there’s nothing like existentialism to make a man seem attractive. Even more attractive is when, having done absolutely nothing wrong, you get called awful names. I think this is called “playing hard to get”. Ophelia runs into Hamlet and is not just insulted by Hamlet, but is insulted among all womankind. Not cool, Hamlet. And when Ophelia ends up throwing herself in a river, Hamlet acts all sad and that he loved her all along? Stop playing those games, Hamlet. To be or not to be a jerk, that is the question.

2) Othello, Othello and Desdemona’s Last Moment Together (Act 5, Scene 2)

Nothing like death to bring loved ones together, especially in Shakespeare. Does it count if death is being brought on by your loved one? By Shakespeare’s standards, essentially it’s the best you can do! And in the most romantic locations of all, one’s own marriage bed. Othello kisses his wife before attempting to smother her, and this death scene is ridden with romantic newlywed imagery. Thanks Shakespeare, that’s not creepy at all.

1) Romeo and Juliet, Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 1)
Well, what did you expect would be #1? This scene is the most talked about famous romance scene in Shakespeare, and it is pretty romantic to have your secret lover come to you in the middle of the night to profess his love to you… right? Some would say that’s trespassing, but we love that kind of stuff. Romeo and Juliet, however, are probably the most unstable of all of Shakespeare’s couples. First of all, they are 14, and probably going through many hormonal changes that would probably affect their decision making. Only knowing each other three days in the total time of the play, they end up dying for each other pretty much by accident. They literally could’ve waited an hour to see if the other were really dead and then made a rational decision on what to do next, but no, impromptu sacrifice is what Shakespeare encourages. Thanks Shakespeare for presenting the ultimate romance as ultimate insanity.

Don’t follow suit on your Valentine’s Day everyone.

By Yamini Coen

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #105

valentines-day-hearts

SONNET 105

Let not my love be call’d idolatry,

Nor my beloved as an idol show,

Since all alike my songs and praises be

To one, of one, still such, and ever so.

Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,

Still constant in a wondrous excellence;

Therefore my verse to constancy confined,

One thing expressing, leaves out difference.

‘Fair, kind and true’ is all my argument,

‘Fair, kind, and true’ varying to other words;

And in this change is my invention spent,

Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.

‘Fair, kind, and true,’ have often lived alone,

Which three till now never kept seat in one.

 

9-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

My love for you isn’t worship,

and I won’t be urged to put you on display.

All my songs and praises

are for one person, you and they are all one.

My love will be here today and tomorrow…

You are constant, and so am I.

If I change, I become less constant. That is not my goal.

You can’t find fair, kind and true all in one person,

but you are that person with all three qualities.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #29

valentines-day-hearts

SONNET 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

 

9-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

I am a poor person being watched.

Alone, I cry out my feelings

and heaven doesn’t hear me.

When I look at myself, I look away.

I wish for hope, a better face, more friends,

talent, and power.

But when I hate myself,

I happily think about you and my feelings change,

just like a lark singing in the morning.

For the love you bring,

I wouldn’t change places with a king.

 

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 10-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #116

valentines-day-hearts

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,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

10-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

Never give up on someone you love.

Love is a lighthouse that guides a boat.

Love never dies; it keeps on trucking.

If you think I’m wrong, prove it!

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – An 8-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #18

valentines-day-heartsSONNET 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 in his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor loose 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.

 

8-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

You are beautiful and calm,

but your life is too short.

You change.

Everybody changes.

[But] your beauty won’t go away.

Death shall not find you,

because I’m writing this poem.

As long as people live,

this poem gives life to you.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Sonnets-by-Kids – A Unique Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day is celebrating its 5th year!

This Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of poetry and let the Bard do the talking!

  • Visit http://www.shakespeareinaction.org/sonnets-by-kids.
  • Select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet – 18, 29, 105, or 116. (Only $25 CDN)
  • On Valentine’s Day, between 2:30pm and 4:30pm EST, a talented and charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!
  • A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet for your Valentine!

SONNETS BY KIDS are available in Canada and the US until Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5pm EST, while quantities last.

Shakespeare in Action is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to introducing young people to the magic of Shakespeare, language and live theatre. All proceeds support our educational programs throughout Toronto – the kids are “graduates”!

sonnets-by-kids-2011

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

sonnets-by-kids-2012

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

 

sonnets-by-kids-2013

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

sonnets-by-kids-2014

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2014 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action