The complete collection of Shakespeare's poems and songs. The Sonnets are given pride of place and a page each one to itself. This makes these most important poems easier to read and learn. Perhaps best known of these is number 18, the one which ...
begins "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date...", Though many of the Sonnets are plainly addressed to an unknown woman, many of them are equally plainly addressed to a man, inevitably raising the question of Shakespeare's sexual orientation. But these poems, though explicitly full of physical admiration and loving feelings, are more concerned with that unknown subject's need, or even obligation, as the poet saw it, to find a marriage partner and beget children before the first flush of youthful good looks departed, than with any hint of selfish desire on Shakespeare's own part. One's imagination could add to this controversy by speculating on one man's desire to write a series of 'love' sonnets in the absence of any hint of a string of sexual conquests, and when such sonnets as are plainly addressed to women are all too often filled with melancholy brooding over infidelities (his marriage to the considerably older Anne Hathaway at an early age was perhaps less fulfilling than it might have been) - one could imagine that, seeking a subject for his poems, he looked in the mirror, and saw there the ideal subject, the uncritical recipient of his poetic emotions. This edition includes all the poems which are included in the body of his plays, perhaps the best known of which is the one that begins: "When icicles hang by the wall and Dick the Shepherd blows his nail...". Some of these are quite well- knownsongs rather than poems, such as "Who is Sylvia", and "Hark! Hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings". The long narrative poems (which have probably received less attention over the years than the easily remembered short poems) are all included here. The book includes a glossary of those words which are no longer in daily use, an index of first lines, and some editorial notes.
Number of pages: 384
Date of publication: 01/01/2011
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