|Bookcase containing Woolf's Collected Shakespeare,|
I read Shakespeare directly I have finished writing. When my mind is agape and red-hot. Then it is astonishing. I never yet knew how amazing his stretch and speed and word coining power is, until I felt it utterly outpace and outrace my own, seeming to start equal and then I see him draw ahead and do things I could not in my wildest tumult and utmost press of mind imagine. Even the less known plays are written at a speed that is quicker than nobody else's quickest; and the words drop so fast one can't pick them up. Look at this, "Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd." (That is a pure accident. I happened to light on it.) Evidently the pliancy of his mind was so complete that he could furbish out any train of thought; and, relaxing, let fall a shower of such unregarded flowers.
Diary for April 13, 1930 (AWD 154)
Happy Shakespeare's Birthday