Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oh Sonnets, How Shall I Review Thee...

Today, I managed to finish William Shakespeare's The Sonnets, which is an impressive feat in itself seeing as I had over a hundred of them left to go. It took an entire day of devoted reading, but I managed to read, understand and analyze all of them.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about The Sonnets. There were a few I loved, but most I either disliked or felt "meh" about. I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I thought I was going to do, which is thoroughly disappointing. Maybe it's because I wasn't in the right head space to read them or perhaps my Shakespeare comprehension is not up to par, but I really did not enjoy the majority of the book. 

I circled only 13 sonnets out of 154 as ones that I loved and greatly enjoyed, which is only a 8.44% success rate. Not that great. I felt that most of the sonnets got extremely repetitive - after all, how many different ways can you explain to the viewer that love is blind or the beauty fades?! These are two common themes that I found repeatedly throughout the book. 

It is the first book that I would not recommend to a friend, but I think that there are a few sonnets worth reading - in my opinion, these are 16, 17, 18, 35, 38, 50, 71, 76, 82, 83, 115, 116 and 128. I found these thirteen sonnets to be exceptional and definitely read-worthy. 

A little information about my copy of The Sonnets:

Pages: 203
Original date of publication: 1609
My edition: 2001 (Penguin)
Why I decided to read: I've been on a classics kick lately, and I've also recently dove back into writing poetry. I decided to read some poetry by one of the masters of traditional poetic form. 
How I acquired my copy: Half Price Books in my hometown; January 15, 2012

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