Sonnet Book

We have a run of 750 sonnetbooks. Each book signed by William S



Why I love the Sonnets…

…asked to provide some info for the paper i sat down to enumerate the reasons.

Basically they appeal to my higher nature. I have become a more ethical and moral person by holding up the imperfect mirror the sonnets represent.

Ethics shape the personality and character. In my case as slutty as the Mistress and as arrogant as the fair young man and now feel for the poet. I abase myself for love in the same way through this blog.

They provide fodder for learning about Shakespeare: the man (biography) and his works (literary) and inevitably his social and cultural surroundings (history).

Impossible then not to mention Renaissance Europe with its political and religious turmoils. Extend that to the currents ebbing and flowing from established cultures and religions in the rest of the globe.

Through this all one must broach the psychology and philosophy of the above.

Moral and ethical responsibility conjoin with emotional responsibility.

Imagination carries me into the realms of mythology and archetypes.

They are a balance of scholarly discourse and amateur enthusiasm. Didactically i make Shakespeare accessible to a new generation in classes and workshops and performances.

They require an accounting of the continuum of theatrical history; both his, my own and all that’s intervened.

They are a method of voice development and memory training. Each sonnet is a blueprint for physical action/stasis, emotional repertoire and intellectual wit.

Criticism and theory hover round these poems from the early modern to the post-modern, like bees to pollen.

They made me appreciate and recognise artistry and craftsmanship in all applied forms. Plus they’ve enhanced the discipline of sitting and listening for hours at a time.

Above all i read and speak them for the sheer enjoyment and delight of making Shakespeare live, but with the proviso like Ben Jonson, this side of Bardolatry.

These poems emanated from one man’s breast. They are as quick and as slow as his thought. They are a continuous interplay between form and matter.

Verse and speech intertwined to where one is the other. Art and life appealing to the transcendental in us.

It doesn’t matter if you believe he wrote them or someone else did, whether the characters are real or feigned. They are written and it is a celebration of his passion and my own that i continue to repeat them.

I could have collected stamps and found it just as fascinating. There is something deeply human about focus on non-necessities.

These sonnets illustrate applied effort yielding concrete results for a stage (spoken) and simultaneously contain moments frozen in the silence of the page (written). This is their essential paradox.

I find myself agreeing with Harold Bloom and his deep-reading:

We read in search of a mind more original than our own”.

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