Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: A New Commentary

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Faber & Faber, Jan 19, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 500 pages
3 Reviews

Shakespeare's Sonnets are as important and vital today as they were when first published four hundred years ago. Perhaps no collection of verse before or since has so captured the imagination of readers and lovers; certainly no poem has come under such intense critical scrutiny, and presented the reader with such a bewildering number of alternative interpretations. In this illuminating and often irreverent guide, Don Paterson offers a fresh and direct approach to the Sonnets, asking what they can still mean to the twenty-first century reader.

In a series of fascinating and highly entertaining commentaries placed alongside the poems themselves, Don Paterson discusses the meaning, technique, hidden structure and feverish narrative of the Sonnets, as well as the difficulties they present for the modern reader. Most importantly, however, he looks at what they tell us about William Shakespeare the lover - and what they might still tell us about ourselves.

Full of energetic analysis, plain-English translations and challenging mini-essays on the craft of poetry - not to mention some wild speculation - this approachable handbook to the Sonnets offers an indispensable insight into our greatest Elizabethan writer by one of the leading poets of our own day.

  

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User Review  - Caomhghin - LibraryThing

I'm reading a book on Sanskrit literature at the moment and apparently a sentence in Sanskrit can have two separate meanings - identical words/two meanings. Well i never. You can't quite do that in ... Read full review

Review: Reading Shakespeares Sonnets

User Review  - Zara - Goodreads

My mum and I adored this book! I gave it to my English teacher as a wedding present, because it was so good. Don Paterson's humour made us laugh out loud. His criticism of the sonnets are fascinating ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. He is the author of Nil Nil (1993), God's Gift to Women (1997) - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize - and Landing Light (2003), which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. Rain, his most recent collection, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009, the same year that he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Find out more about Don Paterson at his own website.

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