Love Sonnets 2017 The Readings Why Sonnets from the PortugueseDevelopment and ExecutionRetrospective

Love Sonnets

Grace Rose by Frederick Sandys: woman placing rose in vase

Frederick Sandys, Grace Rose (1866), courtesy Yale Center for British Art

33 Selections from
Sonnets from the Portuguese
and Other Sources

Thursday April 6, 2017
7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Silver Spring Library
900 Wayne Avenue
Meeting Room 1

Love Sonnets is a poetry reading scheduled as part of National Poetry Month for the first Thursday of April. A selection of 33 sonnets, primarily drawn from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, will be read by Paul A. Clayton. (This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government, being merely an offering to the public by the reader.)

Light refreshments will be available, and the first ten attendees will receive a copy of Sonnets from the Portuguese: A Celebration of Love. (Three additional copies will be awarded by drawing.)


This program was initially conceived to promote Sonnets from the Portuguese and was to be a reading of selections only from that sonnet sequence (the giving away of several copies was part of that initial conception). A desire to place E.B.B.'s sonnets in a broader context and to leave more of that sequence for the audience members' individual discovery, along with a delaying of the reading from Valentine's Day to provide more preparation time and avoid competition with other, more romantic activities on that day — these led to a broader inclusion of romantic poetry and a choice of April.

A significant but secondary consideration was to encourage the use of and a positive perspective toward the Silver Spring Library (where I currently work as a page) by providing a program of some interest to some people. The rescheduling to April allows this program to boost interest in the library's other special emphases on poetry for National Poetry Month.

An additional motivation was the pleasure of doing a dramatic reading, particularly given texts that are well-suited to dramatic reading and for which I generally have some fondness.

The 33 Sonnets

The following works will be read:

The complete text (along with some comments) is also available.


The menu for this event has not yet been determined. The available foods may include: croissants and scones from Panera, a few varieties of cheese, crackers, chocolate, and Wallace Presbyterian Church's special trail mix.

Drinks may include: tea (Earl Grey, Mint Medley, and Constant Comment), hot chocolate, pink lemonade, and water.