April 23rd National Talk Like Shakespeare Day

April 23rd National Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Today was created by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2009. It celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday which was on April 23rd, 1564. In order to talk like Shakespeare…to start with, we know it has to be in an English accent, and using words that aren’t normally linked to each other. It also means making sure that people aren’t quite sure what it is you are saying. It can be fun, it can be educational and it can be really, really annoying! But it’s only for one day so you can deal with it. And maybe Juliet will finally find out where Romeo is!

How to celebrate – Work on your English accent. Read Shakespeare so you understand how he put the words together. Make up your own words and see if anyone catches on.

August 18th Bad Poetry Day

Today is one of those days we all fear. When something goes wrong in a poem we hear. Maybe the poets on drugs, or needs a good hug! Or better a kick in the rear!

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And this here guy here was a poet. And if you lived back then you’da knowed it. He was hard to understand, but I think it was his plan. So you’d go to his play where he showed it.

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And what’s with poems that don’t rhyme?  Aren’t they really just paragraphs in a line? But in the end, they really offend, those of us that read them.

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So here’s to the people at Wellcat.com for creating this day to keep us all calm. For we’d all have to say that we liked poetry the way, every poet wrote ’em.

How to celebrate – Learn the difference between a poem and a limerick (Obviously I didn’t!) Send your best friend a poem you know is bad and see how they react. Try to name at least five famous poets without cheating!

August 21st Poet’s Day

I am stealing this description of poetry from someone else because I have never heard a better definition. “At it’s most base description, poetry is a form of writing that uses the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of a language, combined with simile and metaphor, to bring out meanings deeper than the mere definition of the words”(they were not quoted so I am not sure who they were).

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Poetry is meant to capture the moment in time it was written, whether that is historic, legendary, rhetoric, song, drama, or comedy. In England they called their poets ‘Bards’, of which the most famous, of course, was William Shakespeare. His poetry was turned into plays and performed before audiences both then, as well as now. His poems teach us about how people lived in his day, what they thought, and some of the history that went on around them. Living peacefully was the desire of most poets, even though they often referred to wars going on around them, their hope was for peace among all mankind. Perhaps since man has walked the face of the earth, the desire for peace has always been in the forefront. Perhaps that’s why there are a lot of poems a there certainly have been a lot of wars.

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Emotions always run stronger during the time of war, love is more cherished, and the moments of peace are so welcome. Rudyard Kipling tries to get us up close and personal to war in “GungaDin”.

There are more than 50 styles of poetry, the most common are Haiku, free verse, sonnets, and name poems. They all have been used to try and describe war and the gambit of emotions people go through while living in those times. Poets like Walt Whitman fought during the American Civil War but served as a nurse while he wrote of the horrors of war.

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Another favorite subject is all about love. Here poets try to describe something that most of us know can’t be described. Love is not about words, but nearly every poet that has ever lived has tried to explain it. Some of us know better, but I  admire their persistence. You can describe a rose because you can see it, but love is something different in everybody’s eyes. Perhaps the best poets for love are the many songwriters out there that add another layer to the meaning by describing it in song, another feeling you cannot see.

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And of course nature is a popular subject for poets, or more so, the destruction of nature. “I think that I shall never see. A poem lovely as a tree.”, by Joyce Kilmer explains it all. There is little doubt that we are destroying nature around us. Maybe someday it will only live in poems but Kilmer is correct, no poem can be as beautiful as the subject it is describing. Not that poems aren’t beautiful or useful, they are, but so often they are trying to teach us about emotions that they can never quite reach the same end.

Then there are the tales of the bizarre, as in Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven”. You sort of have to wonder what he was on when he wrote his poems. They are exciting, but very, very dark.

Some of the best poets of all time are listed here, along with those I’ve already mentioned. Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, William Blake, Elzabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou, Williams Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Burns, Carl Sandberg, John Keats, Robert Browning, George Gordon Byron, Ogden Nash, OscarWilde, E.E. Cummings, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Louis Stevenson, T.S. Elliot, Henry David Thoreau, J. R.R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, and Percy Oyssae Shelly.

How to celebrate – Try writing a poem yourself, if it’s good enough, see if you can get it published. Read poems from the masters as those listed above. Come to an understanding of the different styles of poetry.

March 31st National “She’s Funny That Way” Day

Back in Shakespeare’s day if you wanted to be a comedian you had to be a man, even if you dressed like a woman. Boy have things changed!  The first known female stand-up comedian was Moms Mabley, working in vaudeville starting in 1908.  Many have followed, Jane Curtain, Goldie Hawn, Gilda Radner, Phyllis Diller, Whoopie Goldberg, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, the list goes on and on and on.

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Some play roles like the grandmother that suddenly says something totally out of their character, like Betty White.  Some are a little more risqué, like Mae West.  Others use their cuteness to sell their comedy, like Kaley Cuoco.  Make no mistake though, they all have studied their craft and know their jobs well.

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Comedy is not easy.  Timing is everything.  Give the joke away too soon and it’s no longer funny, drag it out too long and its dry and boring.  Some have made their acts so political the only ones who think they are funny are the ones who agree with their point of view.  Some use sex as shock value, people believing only those kinds of thoughts could come from a man.  Some use everyday life, finding the humor in it and passing that on to their audience.  Whichever tickles your funny bone is right for you.9b5

Laughter is good for you, it decreases stress, increases immune cells, increases infection-fighting antibodies, releases endorphins and helps relieve pain.  Even if it kills you… well, at least you died laughing!    So here’s to all the ladies that make us laugh, this is their day!  But really, it’s your day because the world is a much better place because of them.

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