What’s happening at the Library?

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

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Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

It’s one of my favorite lines from Sonnet 18 from William Shakespeare. It’s a sonnet that talks about how lovely someone is, but it also reflects on how seasons, particularly the lovely ones, can go by too fast. It ultimately ends with a proclamation that whoever is the subject of the poem will not have to worry about their beauty fading because, unlike summer, their beauty is timeless. How could someone not fall in love with a message like that?

But there’s a lot I love about Shakespeare, and since it’s his birthday coming up on April 23rd, I figured it was the perfect time to celebrate a man who has had an everlasting effect on the English language. Consider when you last said that someone was “hoisted by their own petard.” Have you remarked lately that there is a method to someone’s madness? Are you waiting with bated breath as you read this? Well, far be it from me to lead you all on a wild goose chase (yes, that one, too!), and explain why I wanted to write about Shakespeare other than the fact that his birthday is this week.

Like most products of the American education system, I was formally introduced to Shakespeare as an adolescent. Specifically, my class read “Romeo and Juliet,” which might have introduced a lot of young people to Shakespeare. It’s a story about young love that flourishes despite opposition from the world. It is also one of his most famous tragedies, which gets taught a lot in high school. I suppose it’s because teens love angst, or adults who design the curriculum think that teens love angst. However, as a teenager, I had just enough angst to like the tragedies I read, which included “Hamlet” and “Julius Caesar.” More than just young love thwarted, those plays showed me a lot about character depth and the complexities of motivation. I liked Shakespeare so much that my mom, who majored in accounting, took me to watch Shakespeare in the Park in Lexington for years, which was a couple of hours from where we lived. That’s more the kind of love that I appreciate.

And I hope that people take some time to appreciate Shakespeare, whether it’s through his tragedies, his comedies (which are also good!), or his contributions to our culture.

And speaking of contributions to our culture, here are some programs taking place at the library this week:

• On Wednesday, April 24, at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show presents a 2023 movie based on a novel and Broadway musical. A woman faces many hardships in her life, but ultimately finds extraordinary strength and hope in the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood. Popcorn and snacks provided.

• On Thursday, April 25, Learning @ the Library will be hosting Explore Kentucky State Parks presented by Laura Davis. Explore the wonders of Kentucky State Parks right in your own backyard! Join us for a presentation showcasing landscapes, rich history, and endless

opportunities for adventure. From hiking trails to historic sites, there’s something in the Kentucky State Parks for everyone. Come learn how you can play in our parks. The potluck begins at 6 pm while the presentation begins at 6:30 pm. Space is limited; please register.

• On Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m., the library’s Spice Club meets. This month’s spice is Cardamom. Sign up to attend the program and you get a packet of this sweet and peppery spice.

• On April 28, at 2 p.m., come to the library to learn how photography is so much more than images in our Storytelling Through Photography program. Join local photographer Megan Denise in learning how to tell a unique and personal story through your photographs. Contact the library at 744-5661 to register.