All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this next one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love’s storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here while we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.
Billy Collins (Sonnet)
Last month I was kindly invited to celebrate Shakespeare week, in collaboration with Viking and Search Laboratory. It was an evening filled with delicious food, themed activities and a whole lot of laughter. Held in a beautifully decorated pub in North London, the Bull & Gate was the ideal location. As each of us arrived, we were ushered upstairs into a private space. Where we were greeted with a welcome drink and soft melodies from a guitarist. The attention to detail was lovely as it truly transported guests into a past era. Whilst sipping my sparkling elderflower, I decided to photograph the venue and network with fellow creatives. Once all the guests arrived we were divided into two groups and the activities began.
The first activity of the evening involved calligraphy, tasty desserts and hilarious innuendos. I had mixed feelings about calligraphy, excited to create something pretty and nervous about my ability to do so. After practising for a while, I decided to write out my name. Let’s just say the first attempt was a sight for sore eyes. But as I continued, it only got better. Now I can even practise at home, as we were all gifted calligraphy sets. If I create something spectacular, I’ll be sure to share my calligraphy progress via social media.
Class is in session, get your pen and pads ready as we delve into the second activity of sonnet writing. We began by reading popular sonnets and getting a better understanding of the art. It felt as if I was back in my English literature class, attempting to craft my own sonnet. Once the manipulator of words but in this instance, the English vocabulary seemed to escape my mind at lightning speed. Trying to stick to the rules, create a story that made sense all within a limited time. It was a challenge, to say the least. One I enjoyed, as it showed me what I can do under pressure.
Overall, it was a refreshing experience, attempting activities I otherwise wouldn’t have paid attention to. But now, I would highly recommend a calligraphy class. It’s great fun, let’s your creativity flow and you may even surprise yourself.
Disclaimer: (AD) complimentary event collaboration with *Viking. Any events or experiences are written about honestly and all opinions are my own.