The sonnet is, along with the limerick, the most widely known poetic form and whereas the limerick is used almost exclusively for humourous--if not downright ribald--ends (though Tennyson supposedly wrote a melancholy example), the sonnet is an altogether nobler structure, with Shakespeare's sonnet sequence being the most virtuoso expression of its poetic possibilities. As Don Paterson, himself an accomplished poet and sonneteer, observes in his introduction, the sonnet's rules of construction are both strict and easily broken, but its 14 lines and patterning of rhythm and rhyme outline a form of great versatility, capable of encompassing complex perception, wit and amourous rumination: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's claim that "A Sonnet is a moment's monument,-- / Memorial from the Soul's eternity" is evidence of the loftier aspirations of the form, while Sean O'Brien's line "What better excuse to go out and get pissed?" exemplifies the sonnet's more profane pleasures.
This collection demonstrates the sonnet's enduring appeal to poets from the 16th century to the present-day--from Wyatt, Shakespeare and Milton, to Armitage, Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy. Paterson cleverly opts for a non-chronological approach--his innovative juxtaposition makes fresh even familiar examples, and his brief notes on each poem's technique and treatment of subject are illuminating, laconic and often irreverent. If the tone of these annotations veers occasionally towards the bluff and overly matey, it is perhaps an indication of Paterson's confidence in the form hitched to the sensibility of a seasoned craftsman--the introduction likewise shifts from the pragmatic and informative to the speculatively baroque--but the end result is a collection of many pleasures and surprises and a bold reassertion of the continuing tradition of formal poetry. --Burhan Tufail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
101 Sonnets is a collection of classic sonnets introduced by Don Paterson, one of Britain's foremost contemporary poets.See all Product Description
I’m not any kind of big poetry aficionado but I really enjoyed this collection of sonnets, selected and introduced by Don Paterson. Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Llewellyn
needed it for my course at university. I need to find the time to study the sonnets. Not keen on cover. Seems a bit cheap looking and feel..Published 19 months ago by Shirley Asquith
As well as a wonderful variety of sonnets, this anthology includes Don Paterson's excellent introduction to the form, and his notes on each poem.Published on 21 Feb. 2013 by karen59
Poetry has been to me somewhat of a closed art form, as I have always felt I didn't really "get" poems. Read morePublished on 9 April 2012 by Jenniconn
I bought this for two reasons!
Firstly - I am enjoying Don's Shakespeare Sonnets Book immensely. It is just BRILLIANT. Read more
just the introduction is worth buying the book for - a masterclass in sonnet writing; followed by an eclectic collection of sonnets and near-sonnets through the ages. Fabulous. Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2010 by Nadia Kingsley