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Shakespeare's Sonnets & Poems

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  5,089 ratings  ·  70 reviews
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY

THE WORLD'S LEADING CENTER FOR SHAKESPEARE STUDIES

This edition includes:

Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on the page facing each sonnet and poem A brief introduction to each sonnet and poem, providing insight and context Introductions to reading Shakespeare's language in the sonnets and in the poems Essays by leading Shakespeare sch
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Paperback, 704 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1609)
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Community Reviews

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GoldGato
It would be rather silly of me to review these Shakespearean poems. The language is magnificent, and I don't really get involved in the 'shadiness' of the Fair Youth. It's enough that I've had the joy of reading these eloquent demonstrations of love and yearning, one of those a-ha confirmations of life's beauty.

This specific volume is an oldie, being printed in 1901. I have almost killed it, resulting in bookcover surgery. The publishers included a lovely little glossary plus a preface to each w
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Robert Palmer
As with most Americans, I was first introduced to Shakespeare while in high school, where I read several of his plays and a few of his sonnets. Then, in college, I became very interested in his poetry, and so I read all of his sonnets and love poems. Reading his sonnets inspired me to write poetry, and over my college career, I wrote 20 sonnets to my girlfriend. I mention this not because I believe that the sonnets I wrote are comparable, but only to demonstrate that Shakespeare's sonnets so mov ...more
Jessica
Reading the sonnets was an entirely different experience than I had anticipated. I often had to re-read a poem three or four times before the meaning finally revealed itself. That wasn't the unexpected part, however. I was surprised by the similarity of the sonnets. For example, at least ten of the first sonnets deal solely with trying to convince a beautiful young man that he should have children in order to ensure that his beauty never dies. Sometimes, it was like, "Okay, Will, I GET IT, the g ...more
Simon
I like the plays, I understand them. I just couldn't do this. I'm not a poet and I have not the talent in the field of old English either. I shant be bothered by such ridiculous devianceies.

I'll stick to your stories Will.
Angela Alcorn
The complete works of Shakespeare (including all the plays, sonnets and poems) are available free to read/download/print here:
http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/
Eric Phetteplace
Potent homoeroticism and a few good ending couplets salvage this otherwise mediocre work of stale verse.
Jeana
I enjoyed reading these sonnets--I definitely enjoyed some of them more than others.
Andrew Wright
When people are sufficiently stupid and/or uninformed, or when they're swept passionately along on the tide of anti-white, anti-male, anti-hetero, anti-euro sentiment that's become so chic in academia, they like to say "Well clearly Shakespeare was noble/gay/bi/a woman." Afterwards they typically trundle out the specious evidence that the majority of the sonnets were all written, quite clearly, to a man. Apparently they didn't see fit to read the entirety of the sonnets, or even perhaps any of t ...more
joan
unless this general evil you maintain, that all men are bad, and in their badness reign, surely you'd give this collection 5 stars?
Scott Hastie
No writer who has ever lived can lodge better claim to have found his own true voice and bought it to full flower..
Cynthia Fletcher
I am very familiar with his plays, but did not have much exposure to his sonnets. Loved them!
Anas Disi
His sonnets are my Bible.
Molly
There is a very definite reason that some of Shakespeare's sonnets are recognizable by the completion of the first line, whereas with others, you could hear the whole thing and not have any idea who wrote it (or what it was about). Some of the sonnets are very nice, but on the whole, I didn't care for them very much. The epic poems where more interesting to me (The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis).
Josh
I'm not sure how anybody can give these anything lower than 5 stars; the writing is beautiful, yet concise and to the point with a sonnet per page - as the book contains all of his sonnets it's possible to trace Shakespeare's development as a writer and lover himself. The sonnets themselves are so iconic and the imagery so vivid that they are well worth the read!
Hilary
Shakespeare's sonnets are some of the most complex poetry I've ever read. I could read a few of the same sonnets forever, and not get the whole picture. Without a doubt, however, my favorite is like Marianne Dashwood's, 116, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments…"
Tori
I'd rather die than read poetry, which I already knew. This just reinforced it even further. Another forced read because I was tutoring a high school senior in English. And reading love poems and sonnets with an emo kid is even worse than reading them on your own.
Elise
My mom has a masters in English, and teaches high school AP English. I would be disowned if i did not read William Shakespeare! These are classics!
Alyssa Haverfield
Obviously, all if these are beautiful. He can only speak, breathe and think of his love.
Angie
I love these poems and I would pick them to take if I had to go to a desert island - along with the plays. They are, of course, meaningful, beautifully written, ironic and profound in many ways and make me think of things and people I love when I read them.
Robert
I'd skimmed over the sonnets before without much interest, but the latest Folger edition places this in context of Shakespeare's life, establishes the consistency of the collection as a whole and makes them far more readable than I had thought.
Koolmom84
Anyone who likes to go back in time (and think about just having time to read) will enjoy this book even if the poems are not easily understood. I like to spend my time trying to figure out their meaning.
Cingashe Nogaya
Oh wow - someone just got me to remember all of this - i left it behind in HS, but his reciting of sonnet 29 - got me diving back into Shakespeare. I can relate to some of his work, eternal romantic ? ahhhhh.
Ariella
One of Shakespeare's less known works, but really truly powerful. Not only do the poems talk of love, lust, and relationships, but they go deep into values and the fundamentals for finding love.
Amanda Wulf
I love, love, love Shakespeare's sonnets. I read the first one hundred in this reading. I want to come back at a later point, start over from the beginning, and read all of them in depth.
Azra
shall i compare thee to a summers day
even more lovely and more template
and rough winds do shake the darling budds of may
and summers leath hath all to short adate ..
Erick
Thinking of the PERFECT words to say during your wedding? This book will guide you! His sonnets are roughly one page in length but each one will leave you speechless. See #44
 Barb Bailey
Unfortunately when I got this book of poetry from the library it was very damaged......with pages cut up and sonnets missing. It rather put me off and I did not finish this book.
Mii
This book is a great read!
Hilary LiDestri
What is not to love? Number 80 is a big favorite of mine. It was the one I had to learn and recite in high school and I still remember all the words.
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  • The Complete Poems
  • The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems
  • Sonnets from the Portuguese
  • The Complete Poems and Major Prose
  • The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose
  • A Shropshire Lad
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
  • Selected Poems and Three Plays
  • Poems and Songs
  • Robert Frost's Poems
  • The Waste Land and Other Writings
  • Immortal Poems of the English Language
  • The Metaphysical Poets (Penguin Classics)
  • The Complete Poems
  • Helen in Egypt
  • Selected Poems
  • Ain't I a Woman! A Book of Women's Poetry from Around the World
  • The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” 64 likes
“So are you to my thoughts as food to life, or as sweet seasoned showers are to the ground.” 12 likes
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