Sonnets 1 – 30

Sonnet 8

Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov’st thou that which thou receiv’st not gladly,
Or else receiv’st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: ‘Thou single wilt prove none.’

I was born in Cairo, Egypt and I obtained my bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications in 2010. I moved to Dijon, France in 2018 to have my masters in electronics engineering. I miss Egypt and the sea a lot. When I was living there, I used to go to the sea every three to four months, now it has been more than a year that I haven’t been there. The first thing that I am going to do when I return to Egypt is to go to the sea. My other hobbies are football and hiking. I chose Shakespeare’s Sonnet number 8 because I felt touched by the fact that Shakespeare compares the human soul to a musical string.

George Saleeb, performer

Sonnet 9

Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye,
That thou consum’st thy self in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children’s eyes, her husband’s shape in mind:
Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murd’rous shame commits.

Odirin V. Abonyi is a Junior Linguistics Researcher at the Institute of French Research for Africa-Nigeria (IFRA-Nigeria). He is a translator and lexicographer currently working with a team of lexicographers on an ongoing Wiktionary-like project. As an
undergraduate, he was a member of the Creative Writers Workshop (CWW) and participated in stage plays, featuring in Niyi Osundare’s State Visit as Beggar and Painter (2004) and in Femi Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel as Baba Alatishe (2005) at the Tanure Ojaide International Conference. As Programmes Coordinator of the CWW, he chaired meetings and mentored undergraduate students from various disciplines in showcasing their creative potentials in acting, singing, dancing and poetic performances. He was awarded the Faculty Certificate of Honour for outstanding contributions to creativity.

Odirin V Abonyi, performer and translator. (Naija)

Sonnet 12

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
  And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
  Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Daphne was born in Cyprus and trained at Oxford university and LAMDA. She was cast as regular character nurse Nadia Talianos on BBC’s Casualty (2006-8) and went on to play TV and film roles such as Sara in House of Saddam (HBO/BBC), Gabrielle in Dream Team (Sky One), Janita in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (BBC), Connie in Polanski’s film The Ghost Writer, Thalia in upcoming film Beckett by Luca Guadagnino and Theresa in feature film The Fourth Kind. She played the lead female role in short film The Palace, and in feature film The Siege on Liperti Street, both of which won international awards and critical acclaim. Stage highlights include playing Elaine in Camelot at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield (chosen by Mark Lawson as one of the top ten shows of 2015) and Sophia in Hidden in the Sand at Trafalgar Studios. Voice highlights include her portrayal of famous heroine Modesty Blaise in a series of adaptations on BBC Radio 4.

Daphne Alexander, performer. Vasilis Rotas, translator.

Sonnet 19

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

Stina Ekblad belongs to Dramaten’s permanent ensemble since 1987. Stina Ekblad was born in Finland, was educated at Odense theatre academy student between 1972–75 and came to Stockholm’s Stadsteater in 1980. There she participated in,  As You Want It directed by John Caird. Stina Ekblad was awarded Svenska Dagbladet’s Thalia Prize in 2006 for her role in Fedra on Dramaten. Stina has participated in a long series of productions in radio, television and film, including “Fanny and Alexander” under the direction of Ingmar Bergman, “Ormens väg på hälleberget” under the direction of Bo Widerberg and “Pensionat Oskar” under the direction of Susanne Bier. She is often active in reciting poetry and in 1994 compiled a CD with poems by Edith Södergran. In the autumn of 1998, she performed the acclaimed monologue Luke’s Gospel at the Orion Theater. In recent years, Stina Ekblad has participated in, among theater production, The Tempest, Idlaflickorna, Som löven i Vallombrosa, Spöksonaten and Utvandrarna.

Stina Ekblad, performer. Sven Christer Swahn, translator.

Sonnet 22

My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time’s furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee,
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O! therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,
Thou gav’st me thine not to give back again.

I am Sagar Varvariya and I am Indian.I was born on 10 August 1998 in Bhohat, Gujarat(India). My mother tongue is Gujarati. Apart from that I can speak Hindi and English. I was always interested in automobiles; hence, I did my Bachelor of engineering in Automobile. Currently, I am pursuing my Masters 1 in Automotive engineering for Sustainable Mobility at l’Université d’Orléans, France. Apart from that I am intermediate in French.  Big fan of MotoGP and Football. I also took part in the College Cricket team.

Sagar Varvariya, performer.

Sonnet 30

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.

Sanelisiwe Yekani is a Theatre Practitioner based in Johannesburg, she graduated from Wits University with an Honours Degree in Performance Studies and Television Studies in 2015. She most recently played the role of Tseli in Zakes Mda’s play titled Dead End at the Joburg Theatre, directed by Makhaola Ndebele (2020). She is also the playwright of a children’s play titled Zwelitsha (2020); which was part of the ASSITEJ 2020 In the Works Playwriting process. She wrote and performed in the theatre production Ndikho (2018, 2019), directed by Sinenhlanhla Q. Zwane which has been performed at various theatres in Johannesburg.Yekani has performed in a number of touring theatre productions. She played the role of Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (2018), and Volumnia in Coriolanus (2016); both produced by The National Children’s Theatre. She has also toured with The Well Worn Theatre Company for the theatre shows Plastocracy (2017) and Burning Rebellion (2019).

Sanelisiwe Yekani, performer and translator.