Sonnets by William Shakespeare (Review)

Sonnets by William Shakespeare 

Blurb

‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate . . .’ Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets contain some of the most exquisite and haunting poetry ever written, dealing with eternal themes such as love and infidelity, memory and mortality, and the destruction wreaked by time. This new edition collects them in a pocket-sized volume, perfect for gifting. William Shakespeare was born some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.

Review

I’ve read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets in the past as our Drama teacher used to make us memorise them and then recite them on stage but that was a long time ago. So being as I am trying to read all of Shakespeare’s works I decided to read his sonnets next.

This little book has been perfect to dip into when I have a few minutes free and I will be honest I have been reading it when waiting for my next student to appear on Zoom. 

I really enjoyed reading this little book and although the sonnets are mainly love sonnets there are also sonnets on the seasons and other things. Some are a bit similar in my opinion but they are still enjoyable to read and really show the talent of Shakespeare.

A highly recommended little edition that literally just gives you the sonnets and is perfect to just dip in and out of when the mood takes you. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons and I will leave you with one of my favourites.

116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments; love is not love

Which alters when alteration finds, 

Or bands with the remover to remove.

O no, it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor to man ever loved.

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About the author

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely known as the greatest writer in the English language and is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

Today is a chill day for me as I have handed in my two assignments so it is time for a little break before I start again on Saturday.

So here is my chosen poem for this week.

A Wintry Sonnet

A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main.-
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.

Christina Rossetti

Happy Reading!

Rossetti: Poems by Christina Rossetti (Review)

Rossetti: Poems by Christina Rossetti

Blurb

Poems: Rossetti contains a full selection of Rossetti’s work, including her lyric poems, dramatic and narrative poems, rhymes and riddles, sonnet sequences, prayers and meditations, and an index of first lines.

Review

I have been dipping into this book since the New Year and I must admit it has been lovely to sit and read a poem or two whilst drinking a mug of tea or in fact muting the adverts and reading a poem. When I first started really reading poetry a couple of years ago I soon realised that one of my favourites was Christina Rossetti and so when I found this little book I was delighted and it has lived on my coffee table ever since.

Rossetti penned my all time favourite Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter. I love it as a poem but my favourite thing is to sing it to the tune written by Holst. Christmas is not Christmas without this carol for me and thankfully I found this poem in this little book.

I really enjoyed the riddles in this book as well and thankfully I am pleased to say I managed to work most of them out. In fact that was what I loved about this book, the fact it was full of variety and contained examples of Rossetti’s poems, sonnets, riddles, prayers and more. 

This little pocket sized book really gives a broad spectrum of Rossetti’s work and is a joy to read and just dip into when the mood suits you. Some of my favourites were Goblin Market, In the Bleak Midwinter, Advent, A Wintry Sonnet and Strange Planets. I give this little book of poems 5 out 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

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About the author

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was an English poet who wrote romantic, devotional and children’s poems. She was also the sister of artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

Here is my chosen Rossetti poem for this week and this week I have chosen one of her sonnets and this one is about Autumn.

18

So late in Autumn half the world's asleep,
And half the wakeful world looks pinched and pale,
For dampness now, not freshness, rides the gale;
And cold and colourless comes ashore the deep
With tides that bluster or with tides that creep;
Now veiled uncouthness wears an uncouth veil
Of fog, not sultry haze; and blight and bale
Have done their worst, and leaves rot on the heap.
So late in Autumn one forgets the Spring,
Forgets the Summer with its opulence,
The callow birds that long have found a wing,
The swallows that more lately gat them hence:
Will anything like Spring, will anything
Like Summer, rouse one day the slumbering sense?

Christina Rossetti

Happy Reading.

Armistice Day

It was a strange Remembrance Sunday due to Lockdown this year. I usually take part in a Remembrance Sunday service at church playing the organ but this time I was sat at home watching a service online.

Today I have chosen a poem for Armistice Day by Wilfred Owen.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' raid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, - 
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles my be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

Wilfred Owen

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

This month I have decided to do something different. This month I am dedicating to my favourite poet Christina Rossetti. This means that each Friday of November I will post a poem by Rossetti.

Apologies if you do not like Rossetti but she is my absolute favourite.

A Pin

A pin has a head, but has no hair;
A clock has a face, but no mouth there;
Needles have eyes, but they cannot see;
A fly has a trunk without lock or key;
A timepiece may lose, but cannot win;
A corn-field dimples without a chin;
A hill has no leg, but has a foot;
A wine-glass a stem, but not a root;
A watch has hands, but no thumb or finger;
A boot has a tongue, but is no singer;
Rivers run, though they have no feet;
A saw has teeth, but it does not eat;
Ash-trees have keys, yet never a lock;
And baby crows, without being a cock.

Christina Rossetti

Have a good weekend everyone!

Happy Reading!

Friday Poetry: Thomas Hardy

Happy Friday!

I have gone for another Autumn based poem this week.

Autumn in King’s Hintock Park

Here by the baring bough

Raking up leaves,

Often I ponder how

Springtime deceives, –

I, an old woman now,

Raking up leaves.





Here in the avenue

Raking up leaves,

Lord’s ladies pass in view,

Until one heaves

Sighs at life’s russet hue,

Raking up leaves!





Just as my shape you see

Raking up leaves,

I saw, when fresh and free,

Those memory weaves

Into gray ghosts by me,

Raking up leaves.





Yet, Dear, though one may sigh,

Raking up leaves,

New leaves will dance on high –

Earth never grieves! –

Will not, when missed am I

Raking up leaves.

Thomas Hardy

Friday Poetry: Rabindranath Tagore

Happy Friday!

Rabindranath Tagore was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. Tagore was a musician and artist as well a poet. Tagore was born and raised in Calcutta in India and spent his entire life there.

 

Paper Boats

Day by day I float my paper boats one by one down the running stream.

In big black letters I write my name on them and the name of the village where I live.

I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.

I load my little boats with shiuli flowers from our garden, and hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land in the night.

I launch my paper boats and look into the sky and see the little clouds setting their white bulging sails.

I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them down the air to race with my boats!

When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars.

The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and the lading is their baskets full of dreams.

 

Rabindranath Tagore

 

Happy Reading!

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Friday Poetry: William Shakespeare

Happy Friday!

I have gone for another Shakespeare Sonnet and this one I think is perfect for Autumn.

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
William Shakespeare
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Friday Poetry: T. E. Hulme

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have fantastic weekend plans which involves books, snuggly blankets and a hot chocolate or two.

Due to it being Autumn I have chosen an Autumn poem.

 

Autumn

A touch of cold in the Autumn night –

I walked abroad,

And saw the ruddy moon lean over hedge

Like a red-faced farmer.

I did not stop to speak, but nodded,

And round about were the wistful stars

With white faces like town children.

 

T. E. Hulme

 

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