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A Sonnet a Day

Let Patrick Stewart recite Shakespeare to you daily, until the COVID crisis is over



I saw it just after watching the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard, one of Amazon Prime’s newest series that brings back legendary characters from Star Trek lore—most famously, of course, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, who is and has always been played marvelously by a man as legendary as the character, Sir Patrick Stewart. Almost by coincidence, I saw a tweet by Stewart where he recites what is my favorite sonnet (partly because it’s the only I have memorized) by William Shakespeare: Sonnet 116.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments,” Jean-Luc Picard, er I mean Patrick Stewart, recites. “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…”

After watching the veteran thespian recite the famous sonnet, in a measured and deliberate manner, with pauses that matched his meaningful stare and subtle smile, I discovered that his recitation of Sonnet 116 was the unwitting beginning to a little undertaking.

Delighted by the overwhelming responses from his post, Stewart decided to recite one of the Bard’s sonnet a day.

“When I was a child in the 1940s, my mother would cut up slices of fruit for me (there wasn’t much) and as she put it in front of me, she would say, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’” Stewart says in a March 24 tweet. “How about, ‘A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away’?”

And then, holding a copy of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Poems, he recites Sonnet 1 by Shakespeare: “From fairest creatures we desire increase…”

March 25, Stewart posts Sonnet 2. “This is one of my favorites,” he says before proceeding to read: “When forty winters shall besiege thy brow…”

Throughout his life, Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. So expect Sir Patrick Stewart to read you one a day, for 154 days… or until the Covid-19 crisis passes. Still, even when it does, I hope Capt. Picard continues his #ASonnetADay.

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