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Productivity in the Time of Plagues: The Bard Leads the Way

Recently the following email message was sent to my on-line poetry group by our prolific, fearless leader and Maryland’s Poet Laureate, Grace Cavalieri.


The message begins on the Subject line...

“SHAKESPEARE wrote through many epidemics. There were several severe outbreaks of plague during Shakespeare’s lifetime (including in1582,1592,1603,1605 and 1606). 


...continues in the body of the email...

"While he was quarantined during plague outbreaks, he wrote ‘King Lear,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘Anthony and Cleopatra,’ ‘Coriolanus’ and ‘Timon of Athens.’ ”  

...and ends with three simple words (text color Grace's emphasis):

so no excuse


This sent me to Google (uh-oh, an excuse I suppose) to find Shakespeare’s plays, especially those listed above. The Globe Theater in London is offering free on-line performances of some of his most famous plays. To watch Macbeth, one of his plague-inspired plays, tune in via YouTube on Monday, May 11 at 7 pm. If you can’t catch it at that specific date/time, the site states it will be “available until schools reopen.” For the complete schedule of plays, go to:


If you prefer to read the plays he wrote during plague outbreaks, they’re all available

And now, back to writing poems - no excuse!


 Submitted by Emily Ferrara

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