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Ponder This List

Oberon, Titania, & Puck With Fairies Dancing, Wm. Blake, c. 1786*
Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? Have you been to any of his plays  performed in a theater? Do you have a favorite quote from his works? Or is Shakespeare like a sort of friend you know that's there, you've spent time with, hear from now and then?

How great is a great in my life is a question recently added to my Ponder This list. How did that happen you might ask (or not)? Effort. Writing poetry is fun in a rewarding sense mostly because it can also be a great struggle. Making an effort to know more about structure, methinks, is good to infuse my poetry with discipline, as oppose to free wheeling it with blank verse. Sonnets to me are the ultimate struggle with structure because the form has such strict requirements by definition.

As I search my Shakespeare Nortons, I realize I don't have a favorite Shakespeare sonnet or even a quote. I can't randomly pluck lines without knowing the background meaning. I've read most of his plays, seen at least two on a live stage, and have viewed various movies of his films. My favorite films of his are A Midsummer's Night Dream, 1935, Warner Brothers, Much Ado About Nothing, 1993, Kenneth Branagh, Director, and Branagh's Hamlet, 1996.

A Ponder This List is a new project that feels right because it means there are things to learn that I don't want to forget to learn. Having favorite quotes and such, I feel, adds definition to one's personality resume as the aging process reveals new perspectives. Getting old is one thing. Getting stale is another. 

*, Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing, Wm. Blake, c. 1786 


  1. My favourite is Midsummer Nights Dream, mainly because i love the fairies, they're so wild and natural, not the sickly sweet fairies that get pushed at little girls these days My favourite production so far is the one I saw (and blogged just a little bit about) at the Globe Theatre in London recently.I have always had a soft spot for Hamlet because we studied it at school and I feel I have really thought about it. But what I most appreciate this post is that it's sent me to look again at the sonnets - and wow, they're SO good, they're so marvellous. So thank you for reminding me that they are there for the reading.

    1. Hello Jenny,
      Reading your last blog post is like summer beginning all over again.

      Ah, Hamlet, yes! The Shakespearean professor disagreed with my take on the behind the curtain scene. She was wrong to insist students abide by the interpretations she chooses (classmates agree). I realize after reading your comment, Hamlet is the play I also studied the most. Branagh's version makes it easy to remember.

  2. Romeo and Juliet has happy memories for me as it was the subject for my school exams when I was 15, we were taken to the cinema to see the film which was quiet exciting in those days. The custume really struck me but the words were all a bit lost on me!

    1. Hello Betty,
      Romeo and Juliet I also studied in my teens. The costumes are fabulous for sure. We studied the play before going to see it, and still the words are difficult to follow.


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