Poll: Many Britons don't know Shakespeare
LONDON, March 27 (UPI) -- A British survey suggests a third of Britons cannot correctly identify the profession of playwright William Shakespeare.
The survey of 3,000 people also found a quarter of respondents did not know John Keats was a poet and less than a third did not know "Winnie-the-Pooh" scribe A. A. Milne was an author, The Sun reported Thursday. An additional two-thirds of respondents could not correctly identify Oscar Wilde as the author of "The Importance of Being Earnest."
The poll, conducted ahead of a poetry contest run by English poet laureate Andrew Motion, suggested 70 percent of Britons have never written a poem to a loved one although two-thirds of survey participants said they would like to receive one.
"Although most people accept that poetry has a vital role in personal as well as national life, these findings show a depressing level of ignorance," Motion said. "The good news is that 61 percent said they would like to have poetry play a role in their lives -- in which case we hope they might also want to write one."
Here's a Shakespeare poem so you won't be among these people!
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.