There Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o' the world; oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time!
--Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "A Vision of Poets"
This past week was the 444 birthday of Shakespeare. To celebrate, the Folger Shakespeare Library had their annual Open House. There were events to interest all ages, from stage combat demonstrations, to crafts, to classical music. One could even stand up on the stage at the Folger and recite a little from the Bard. Those taking part in this event, called Spontaneous Shakespeare, included a five or six year old boy who recited a chunk of Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" Soliloquy. Remarkably, his mother said this was the third year he had taken part. There was a beautiful cake that was cut and served at the end of the day. Sir Derek Jacobi was on hand to help the Queen cut the cake. He treated the crowd to some lines from The Tempest.