Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, England
© James Osmond/Getty Image
Resting place of the Bard. World Poetry Day
How like a winter hath my absence been / From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! / What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! / What old December's bareness everywhere!
So begins William Shakespeare’s chilly Sonnet 97. Today we celebrate World Poetry Day with a wintry look at the final resting spot of Shakespeare: Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Though he was better known for his plays, the Bard of Avon began his literary life as a poet, penning 154 sonnets in total. The first 126 are addressed to a ‘fair youth,’ the final 28 to a mistress known as the ‘Dark Lady.’
UNESCO created World Poetry Day with the aim of ‘supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.’ The day was long celebrated on October 15 to honour Roman poet laureate Virgil on his birthday, and many countries continue to mark the occasion on that day. There’s never a bad day to indulge in the poetry of Dickinson, Neruda, Angelou, or whoever’s writing stirs your heart.