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On Shakespeare's Sonnets


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On Shakespeare's Sonnets: A Poets' Celebration brings together thirty of the world's foremost contemporary poets writing in response to Shakespeare's Sonnets.

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgements What poverty my Muse brings forth;Roger McGough Sonnet 1; William Shakespeare Senex on Market Street; Douglas Dunn Sonnet 11; William Shakespeare Thirty-Five; Jackie Kay Sonnet 12; William Shakespeare Rhapsodies; Andrew Motion Sonnet 15; William Shakespeare Sonnet 15: A Graft; Paul Muldoon Sonnet 18; William Shakespeare Dream; P. J. Kavanagh Sonnet 20; William Shakespeare Di-Di-Dah-Dah-Di-Dit; Simon Armitage Sonnet 22; William Shakespeare Sonnet; Wendy Cope Sonnet 33; William Shakespeare Hearing Voices; Mimi Khalvati Sonnet 35; William Shakespeare Peacemaker; Michael Symmons Roberts Sonnet 36; William Shakespeare Two; Don Patterson Sonnet 38; William Shakespeare After Sonnet 38; Nick Laird Sonnet 43; William Shakespeare The Trick; Imtiaz Dharker Sonnet 49; William Shakespeare At the Halle; Bernard O'Donoghue Sonnet 55; William Shakespeare The Sonnets; Michael Longley Sonnet 60; William Shakespeare Time's Fool; Kevin Crossley-Holland Your Life as a Wave; Ruth Padel Sonnet 65; William Shakespeare Storm, Nissaki; Robin Robertson Two Sonnets; Alan Brownjohn Sonnet 71; William Shakespeare Still Life; John Burnside Sonnet 73; William Shakespeare 73 Shakespeare Close; David Harsent 2014/2015; Jo Shapcott Sonnet 80; William Shakespeare Salvage; Alan Jenkins Sonnet 94; William Shakespeare Three Views of a Secret; Sean O'Brien Sonnet 99; William Shakespeare Gentian Violet; Paul Farley Sonnet 116; William Shakespeare Magnetism; Gillian Clarke CXVI; Carol Ann Duffy Betrayal; Elaine Feinstein Sonnet 143; William Shakespeare Drowned Man; Fiona Sampson W.S.: The Tithon Sonnets; John Fuller List of Contributors and Notes to Poems Index of Poets Index of First Lines

About the Author

Hannah Crawforth is Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London, UK. Elizabeth Scott-Baumann is Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at King's College London, UK.


These contributors are some of the best, and best-known poets writing today ... The result is a slimly elegant book of new poetry, some of it very fine indeed ... [I]t really is extraordinary that these sonnets, first published in 1609, can still be engendering such a range of new ideas and ways of expressing them. Congratulations to the editors Hannah Crawforth and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann. * The Independent *
Wendy Cope's version of sonnet 22, a meditation on age with a twist on enduring love, is a triumph; Carol Ann Duffy's dazzling response to sonnet 116 reinvents the idea of "impediments" to true marriage. * The Daily Telegraph *
An original and inspired idea ... This exciting collection reminds us that themes of ageing, love, lust and emotional cruelty transcend time. -- Bel Mooney * Daily Mail *
A wise and often beautiful book, inventive and witty. * Morning Star *
This slim volume of poetry offers plenty of meaty material for actors or drama students looking for something fresh and interesting to read or perform ... [A] collection of interesting new poems on ageing, death, mortality, illness and love which force you to read the sonnets which inspired them in a refreshing new light. * The Stage *
Rather ingenious ... A sparky little book. * Ink Pellet *
Offering engaging insights, enjoyable surprises and vivid glimpses of experience, On Shakespeare's Sonnets is very much a living celebration. * Daily Star (Bangladesh) *
... This collection is excellent, a fun introduction to both modern poetry and Shakespeare's classics. * Tony's Reading List *
This small volume is a pure delight: a collection of poems (mostly sonnets) by many of England's leading writers in varied and sensitive response to Shakespeare's Sonnets ... Each one is essentially intimate, celebrating the lyric spirit of Shakespeare's Sonnets ... One of the delights of these poems, in addition to their own wonder as poems, is that they take one back to the sonnets that inspired them to see and hear anew. * Sixteenth Century Journal *

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