Friday, 1 March 2013

The mother of one of 1623's trainees has written a sonnet in the style of Shakespeare and it's going to be read at the Stratford Poetry Festival this summer.

It was at our recent Winter Gathering at QUAD that Cheryl Herbert - mother of 1623 trainee Darius Cranston - spotted a sheet explaining how a Shakespearean sonnet is constructed.

IMG 0244She explained: “I just took myself off into a corner and thought I'd see if I could write one. I didn’t intend to show it to anyone. But Ben Spiller [1623 artistic director] saw me writing it and asked if he could read it. Later he sent it to Marion Fleetwood from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Poetry Festival who has now asked if it can be read at the event this summer. I was completely shocked."

Marion said: "It's a pleasure to be able to include Cheryl's sonnet in a performance as part of our festival. It is a special year for the Poetry Festival as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, and Cheryl's sonnet, written quietly in a corner but expressing beautifully the cycle of the year, fits extremely well with our theme of time and place.

“As it will be included in a performance, Cheryl's sonnet will take its place in our archive alongside letters from Oscar Wilde, original manuscripts by Marie Correlli and of course our very own copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623.”

Cheryl's sonnet:

How do the seasons meld to make the year?
Combine and flow from death to life again.
When summer's gone, does autumn shed a tear?
Does winter sing to spring a soft refrain?
For winter harbours dark, depressing morn
Yet sprinkled white from heav'n to coat bare land.
Then up from this, spring bursts with life reborn
Of maiden blooms that make a happy band.
But still to come is summer all aglow
Radiant in her glory, shining so strong
Stretching her arms across her Earth below
Enveloping the world with days so long.
And then to autumn, shedding leaves abound
Again the seasons start the year around.


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