William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born at Startford-on-Avon on 26 April - 1564. He was educated at the free grammar school. John Dryden, a prominent literary artist of the 17th century, believed that Shakespeare was naturally learned. He wrote, "He (Shakespeare) needed not the spectacles of books to read nature. He looked inward and found it there He was a versatile genius. He wrote tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies, poems and sonnets. This extract is from his comedy AS YOU LIKE IT. He tells us that this world itself is a stage on which we all come and play our parts. The extract here describes the seven stages in a man s life.
.ALL the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant.
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the connon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of fonnal cut,
Full of wise saws and modem instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide,
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childshness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.
Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas.