Now, a Shakespearean Moment
William Shakespeare created some of the most influential and enduring works in history. Though he died nearly four hundred years ago, he remains the most widely performed playwright in the world.
But for many readers it is Shakepseare's sonnets that speak most directly to the heart and mind.
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find.
This Shakespearean Moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts. I'm Dana Gioia, Chairman of the NEA
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