April is National Poetry month and every Sunday this month I will be highlighting a poet and a poem.
This week I chose to highlight William Shakespeare because his death day is on Tuesday, April 23rd. The 23rd is also the death day of Miquel de Cervantes. April 23rd is now the International Day of the Book and The Festival of the Rose. It is also the Feast day of Saint George the dragon. We celebrate this day in my house because my daughter's name is Georgia and it is her Saint's day. We celebrate by giving each of our kids a book and Georgia gets a rose in honor of her Saint.
Here is the legend: Legend has it that Saint George, Patron Saint of Catalonia (Spain) and international knight-errant, slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful Catalan princess. From the dragon's blood sprouted a rosebush, from which the hero plucked the prettiest rose for the princess. Hence the traditional Rose Festival celebrated in Barcelona since the Middle Ages to honor chivalry and love. In 1923, this lover's "festa" became even more poetic when it merged with "el dia del llibre", or The Day of the Book, to mark the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, the two giants of literary history, on April 23, 1616.
Do you celebrate April 23rd?
A Fairy Song by William Shakespeare
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.