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101 Sonnets Paperback – 1 Mar 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571278736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571278732
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

101 Sonnets is a collection of classic sonnets introduced by Don Paterson, one of Britain's foremost contemporary poets.

About the Author

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. He is the author of Nil Nil (1993), God's Gift to Women (1997) - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize - and Landing Light (2003), which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. Rain, his most recent collection, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009, the same year that he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Find out more about Don Paterson at www.donpaterson.com.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’m not any kind of big poetry aficionado but I really enjoyed this collection of sonnets, selected and introduced by Don Paterson. His choice of one sonnet to a page is both attractive and inviting. Paterson himself describes how “the visual appeal of an approximately square field of black text on a sheet of white paper [is] impossible to resist… [it is] a mandala that invites our meditation.”

The sonnets themselves are prefaced by a nicely sized preamble in which Paterson eulogises about the form. In seventeen swift pages he summarises the sonnet’s main structural points: the length, the metre, the turn, and the differing rhyme-schemes developed in English.

The selection itself covers sonnets written in early English (translation of key-words provided) through to modern ones published in the 1990’s. I think Seamus Heaney’s ’98 sonnet, The Skylight, may be the most recent. Everyone will have their own favourites, mine was Wallace Steven’ The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain, which surprised me given how I remember feeling pretty stumped when looking through a copy of Harmonium.

Anyway, for a book that works as both an accessible route into sonnets and also a hundred and one different poets, £7.50 makes for a bargain. In fact, I reckon you could buy two and send the other to someone you like. They’ll love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Poetry has been to me somewhat of a closed art form, as I have always felt I didn't really "get" poems. But in 2011, luckily, I attended several poetry events at the Edinburgh Book Festival, with writers such as Don Paterson, not to mention Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, and Ben Okri. Poetry as performance art. Then I booked in to a Scottish Poetry Library course on poetry...and I found that not only could I read poetry aloud, I could even contribute to the discussion! I learned that intellectual understanding of poems is only one aspect, and arguably not the most important one. This collection of sonnets was brought to our attention on the course. It was first put together in 1999 by Don Paterson and recently re-issued in paperback. 101 sonnets by 101 poets from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Don Paterson, among many other strings to his bow, is Professor of Poetry at St Andrews University. The book entranced me from the first words of the Introduction, explaining what a sonnet is and what it is not, with humour and some irreverence, much like his speaking style. To quote from near the beginning of the Introduction: "statistical studies tell us that, for example, 'in a random sample of 7,000 sonnets, 32 per cent had the ABBAABBA CDCDCD rhyme scheme. It might be more useful if they said 'In a random sample of 7,000 sonnets, 6,878 were found to be terrible'. And the Introduction ends with "Poets write sonnets because it makes poems easier to write. Readers read them because it makes their lives easier to bear". This reader is very much enjoying finding poems that sing to me, and there are many in this book. Highly recommended.
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Interesting but difficult to get through. A bit like swimming in toffee.
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In my opinion the cover as seen on Amazon is misleading because the "edited by" is small print and faint and hardly visible. I bought the book believing that Paterson wrote the 101 sonnets because I wanted to read some of his poems. I found out too late - after opening the packet that he was only the editor.
I regret buying it.
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I bought this for two reasons!

Firstly - I am enjoying Don's Shakespeare Sonnets Book immensely. It is just BRILLIANT. And has led me on to buy Stephen Booth (Great Stuff!) and Helen Vendler (Wow - hard work, but rewarding)

Secondly thanks to Eileen's wonderful Review! I was not disappointed. It is a real Treasure. Thanks, Eileen!
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Great selection - love it
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Excellent
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Interesting
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