Taking a Cue from Elizabeth Shakespeare

Would it be appropriate to have poems written by Elizabeth Browning or Emily Dickinson at a wedding with a theme of Elizabeth Shakespeare? A person might find it easier to answer that question after reading the following passage. It is a passage that considers the many ways in which poetry must have been part of the life of the woman whom William Shakespeare chose as his wife.
Can you imagine an Elizabeth Shakespeare in love? She must have known that her future husband loved poetry. Perhaps she had read or heard his famous comment: “A world without poetry is not one I want to be a part of.” She had no doubt discovered that he could find a poem in almost any object.

Can you imagine a married Elizabeth Shakespeare strolling through the garden with her husband? Picture them stopping to admire a deep red rose. Had Elizabeth asked her husband to describe that rose, he might have declared that it reminded him of the deepest blush.

If they had strolled on further, and had come to a pale pink rose, then perhaps Elizabeth Shakespeare would have again asked her husband to give his description of the rose before them. She could well have heard this remark, “Like palest blush.” Imaging such poetic statements can help one to plan a wedding themed after the life of Elizabeth Shakespeare.

Such a wedding would be filled with poetic verses. Some of those verses might touch on the subject of love. Still, a wedding themed after the life of Elizabeth Shakespeare would not need to have only poetry about love.

As mentioned above, William Shakespeare could find a poem in almost any object. He could probably create a poem after seeing the sun shine on a spider’s web. He could probably write a poem about the flight of a butterfly or the appearance of a hummingbird. He might have found inspiration in the lace that covered the face of an English bride.

An Elizabeth Shakespeare in love must have realized that her future husband saw a poem in just about everything. She must have found it difficult to devote hours and hours to the making of wedding costumes. She must have known that even the simplest of costumes could stir-up a poem in the eyes of her future husband.

Elizabeth Shakespeare must have tried hard to develop the ability to find poetry in any object. She must have wanted desperately to make sure that her life with William did not force him to have a life without poetry. For that reason a wedding themed after the life of Elizabeth Shakespeare would need to have all sorts of poems.

It might include some words from Shakespeare’s own plays. Perhaps the bride would want to say these words from The Merchant or Venice: “The quality of mercy is not strained.” Or perhaps the bride would prefer to utter some lines that had been written my other women in love.

Perhaps the readings could provide the couple with needed inspiration. For example, a couple about to become missionaries might want to include in their ceremony this verse, spoken by a Persian prophet who once visited the U.S.

“Be ye sincerely kind, not in appearance only. Let each one of God’s loved ones center his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him.”

The above verse would certainly reflect the sincere kindness that Elizabeth Shakespeare must have shown to her personal poet and true love.
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