Chattering Mind

Shakespeare set “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on the night of the summer solstice since it was believed to be an evening of enchantment when plucked herbs are at peak powers, and when passionate romance easily unfurls. You’ve probably seen the play’s lush 1999 film rendition starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, and Stanley Tucci (if not, you can rent it for your solstice party). Here’s a clip of the elfin Puck in the 1909 silent film version as he puts a “a girdle round the earth” to find the love-in-idleness flower with which he infects the Fairy Queen.

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