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Sonnet recital is great Shakes

Published on 08/06/17

A poetry-loving student at Hethersett Academy has won a school competition for her recital of Shakespeare’s famous sonnet, Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?

Year 7 student Eve Holmes’ confident rendition came first in a vote by the school's Year 7 and 8 English literature students, who all learned the sonnet by heart and recited it to their classmates.

Her performance was submitted to Poetry By Heart, an annual poetry recitation competition for schools, which is running a special Shakespeare sonnets competition this year.

The judges praised her delivery, commenting: “We really enjoyed Eve's strong, confident recitation and we could see the way she appeared to enjoy the challenge of remembering and sharing her sonnet.

“We felt the opening four lines were particularly strong and that she really understood the importance of the line that begins the sestet (the last six lines of the sonnet).”

English teacher Daniel Blackburn said: “I am planning to expand the competition next year, after seeing how much students enjoyed the challenge of reciting difficult poetry and their sense of pride and achievement after successfully performing the sonnet for other students.

“All the students put in a lot of effort to memorise the poem, and their understanding of this particular sonnet - and poetry in general - was helped greatly by being able to recite poetry confidently, rather than seeing it just as words on a page.”

The Inspiration Trust recently unveiled an initiative to encourage all students at its academies to read, learn, and recite poetry, including the creation of a wide-ranging selection of 100 poems for them to pick and learn by heart.

You can watch Eve’s recital below.