Bird Week: Shakespeare’s Birds

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s tenth anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

Image of William Shakespeare, a bird is perched on his let arm. Text reads: Shakespeare, Illustration from "The Birds of Shakespeare," James Edmund Harting 1871

‘Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.
~ Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 4

By coincidence, as we celebrate this Bird Week, it is also Bard Week, as in the birthday of Mr. William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, a noted appreciator of the many qualities of birds. He was born April 23, 1564 according to most sources.

Continue reading “Bird Week: Shakespeare’s Birds”

This Valentine’s Day, Use Your Words!

What truly says “I love you” to your Valentine? A fancy dinner out? Good luck getting a table, or avoiding romantic indigestion as you navigate the desperate crush of other romance seekers. A box of chocolates? Hardly original, and not exactly helpful with our New Year’s resolutions. Do diamonds speak louder than words? Nope – not even close:

          Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
          Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme…

sonnetsWhen it comes to expressing your feelings, use your words. Or… borrow someone else’s! For millennia poets have spilled out their hearts on papyrus, parchment and paper, and into the air itself. From Sappho to Shakespeare, Ovid to Neruda, Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Oliver, our shelves groan, sigh and sing with love’s burden, heavy as the heaviest heart, lighter than air. Here’s a list of just some of the books at your library packed with moving love poetry from all over the world, and all throughout the ages. Continue reading “This Valentine’s Day, Use Your Words!”

FIRST FOLIO! Much Ado About Costumes


~posted by Ann G.

Shakespeare’s First Folio is still here in Seattle for a few more days—if you haven’t gotten a chance to stop by, consider getting tickets and coming to see it! The library hosted a program recently called “Make Your Own Shakespearean Costume”; we had stations where you could make ruffs, cuffs, brooches, beards, and crowns. It was a lot of fun, and not hard!  We used the titles below for inspiration, patterns and techniques (our projects were pretty straightforward, but if you want historical accuracy and detail, the sky’s the limit!). Enjoy! Continue reading “FIRST FOLIO! Much Ado About Costumes”

FIRST FOLIO! Shakespeare and a Battle Remembered

Click here to view The Holinshed's Chronicles in the SPL catalog
The title page of the 1577 first edition of Holinshed’s Chronicles. Source: Wikipedia.

The power of the pen can be as mighty as a host of lances in the hands of a great poet. One speech in one historical battle has lived on for six centuries, wrapped in myth and inspiration, mainly due to William Shakespeare.

A legendary event during the Middle Ages was the Battle of Agincourt, when the badly outnumbered English army faced the aristocratic armored knights and foot soldiers of the French Army. The English King, Henry V, led his motley group to a fabled victory, destroying the French. The victory was of great significance to British history and to literature.

How has this battle been remembered by posterity? Continue reading “FIRST FOLIO! Shakespeare and a Battle Remembered”

FIRST FOLIO! Shakespeare in Young Adult Novels

~posted by Meranda

Shakespeare has been parodied, reimagined, and adapted to fit a number genres. One of my favorite genres is young adult novels, and here are a few novels I found enjoyable. Continue reading “FIRST FOLIO! Shakespeare in Young Adult Novels”