Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
At times soaring, at times indecipherable, Shakespeare’s sonnets are great literature indeed.
They aren’t your typical love poems, though. Many are about how time is eating away at his lover’s appearance, or how she is too low for him, or that he shouldn’t love her. In spite of these and other negative descriptions, he loves her anyway.
Not very romantic, on the surface. But they do get you thinking deeply about love, especially for those who have experienced it for a decade or three.
Here’s a sample exploration of lust from number 129:
“Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action….
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad….
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.”
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