Today is “Shakespeare Day,” or the day that is known as the birth date and death date of William Shakespeare. Did you know that Shakespeare’s works have been translated into Yiddish for the education and enjoyment of Yiddish-speakers? In honor of Shakespeare and National Poetry Month, you can enjoy the famous Sonnet 18 in Yiddish (above) — available online by clicking here. You might recognize the English original:

Sonnet XVIII
by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
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:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
   So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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Special thanks to David P. Rosenberg for assistance in the library. 

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