We hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well during this very challenging time. All around us, as we isolate, the most beautiful spring is bursting all around with delicate blossom, opal buds and garden birds singing their little hearts out.
Unlike the free birds, we are enjoying spring this year by going for a short walk, once a day, as we self-isolate and socially-distance ourselves from our friends and loved ones.
This month, to raise your spirits and following the really positive feedback received after we published and recorded poems in last month’s newsletter, we bring you another poem to inspire your voice! This month a sonnet heralds a touch of fragrant spring blossom and warm hope which will be followed in due course by summer’s “gold complexion”.
Here is ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ the most famous of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a line of which inspired the title of the wonderful TV series, ‘The Darling Buds of May’.
Have a go at reading this poem aloud – even if you haven’t tried reading a sonnet before – and immerse yourself for a short while in the wonderful language of Shakespeare (who, incidentally, would have been 456 years old on 1 April!)
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 dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
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.
Many of us are now working from home and using online technology to communicate. More time than ever is being dedicated to video conferencing, using Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, WhatsApp or even HouseParty. ‘So how might speaking poetry help my work-life’, you may ask?
Speaking poetry aloud can help to give your voice more range and interest, particularly if you’re attending online meetings. Remember to breathe before you speak and use a pause to allow your point to sink in and be understood by others in the online meetings.
Above all, remember to speak clearly. You can often achieve clarity in your voice by speaking more slowly than normal. Others in your conference call will not understand the points you are making if you speak too quickly.
Other techniques to make your voice more expressive include ‘stretching’ a word or short phrase which can add colour and interest to your speech.
Enjoy this wonderful sonnet, keep your voice warmed up and exercised and go to town on your expression!
With the birds building nests, sapphire bluebells glowing in the woods and soft, tender emerald canopies springing from the waking trees, now is the time to embrace the spring and look forward to the days when we will meet again.
For more information about how to use your voice effectively in online meetings, please get in touch.