Savor Shakespeare’s sonnets with Patrick Stewart

Need some quality poetry to help you through these difficult times? Sir Patrick Stewart has been reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day on Twitter and Instagram.

You can follow along with Sir Patrick Stewart and read Shakespeare’s sonnets on The Folger Shakespeare site, which has the same expertly-edited text as the print Folger edition that he is using in his videos. The Folger Shakespeare site also provides an introduction to the sonnets, textual notes, a helpful guide to Shakespeare’s language, and more.


Read the rest of editors Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine’s introduction to the sonnets, which Patrick Stewart quotes in this video.

To learn more about Shakespeare’s sonnets, listen to the Folger’s Shakespeare Unlimited interview with Jane Kingsley-Smith and read an excerpt from her recently published book, The Afterlife of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Visit Shakespeare Documented to see a first edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets published in 1609, and view a digitized copy of this book in the Folger’s digital image collection.

As if you needed another excuse to read the sonnets, April is National Poetry Month. Tell us your favorite sonnet in the comments below.


  • My favorite sonnet is #73. I fell in love with the language and the imagery when I was a young woman. Now I’m in my “sunset years,” and it’s acquired a whole new resonance. Hearing Patrick Stewart read a sonnet a day has given me something wonderful to look forward to.

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