May 1, 2017

A Shakespeare Sonnet for May's Read Aloud

Public Speaking , Resources , The Buckley Experience , Poems to Read Aloud

The Buckley School's founder, Reid Buckley, believed that all speakers should hone their speaking skills by reading poetry out loud. Each month in our magazine, we'll keep that worthwhile practice alive by including a poem for you to read aloud. (The portrait above, by the way, is of Shakespeare not Buckley. Reid liked to wear a cape and knickers, but we never saw him in an Elizabethan collar.)


Shakespeare’s collection of 154 sonnets was first published on May 20, 1609. Here’s one of the best-known, a good candidate for a May read aloud: 

Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?


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 is 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 lose 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.


If you’d like to hear how someone else interprets it, you can watch actress Lorna Laidlaw’s version:

And here’s an 8-year-old Shakespeare enthusiast giving us her read:

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