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‘Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom’ Sonnets are for romantics, starry-eyed lovers and ardent hearts. And Shakespeare’s sonnets are the best ever written. But this is why they are also for cynics, for star-crossed lovers and for those who know the anguish of unrequited love. Some of them are written to a young man, some of them to a woman. And although the poems are full of mystery – why did Shakespeare write them, what was his sexuality? – each one speaks to us from across the centuries of love, hate and the intensity of being alive. Includes exclusive content: In the 'Backstory' you can find a short, handy, funny guide to everything you might want to know about Shakespeare and his sonnets. ‘This is a crazy, all-consuming, feverish and sweaty love; love, in all its uncut, full-strength intensity; an adolescent love’ Don Paterson, Guardian
In Shakespeare, Not Stirred, two professors mix equal parts booze and Bard to help you through your everyday dramas. It’s like having Shakespeare right there in your living room, downing a great drink and putting your crappy day in perspective. So get out your cocktail shaker and lend him your ears. Each original cocktail and hors d’oeuvre recipe connects Shakespeare’s characters to life’s daily predicaments: • Drown your sorrows after a workplace betrayal with Othello’s Green-Eyed Monster • Distract yourself from domestic drama with Kate’s Shrew-driver or Cleopatra’s Flings in a Blanket • Recapture your youth with Puck’s Magic ’Shrooms • Mark a romantic occasion with Beatrice and Benedick’s Much Ado About Frothing Featuring classic images from the Folger Shakespeare Library (hilariously doctored to feature some hard-partying Shakespearean protagonists) and Mini-Bards you can raid for extra context and commentary, Shakespeare, Not Stirred is a completely intoxicating experience. From the Hardcover edition.
This collection, which won the 2015 Costa Poetry Award, is an exhibition of the Dundee-born poet’s stunningly accomplished adoption of the sonnet’s ancient structure This collection from Don Paterson, his first since the Forward Prize–winning Rain in 2009, is a series of forty luminous sonnets. Some take a traditional form, while others experiment with the reader’s conception of the sonnet, but they all share the lyrical intelligence and musical gift that has made Paterson one of our most celebrated poets. Addressed to friends and enemies, the living and the dead, children, musicians, poets, and dogs, these poems are as ambitious in their scope and tonal range as in the breadth of their concerns. Here, voices call home from the blackout and the airlock, the storm cave and the séance, the coal shed, the war, the highway, the forest, and the sea. These are voices frustrated by distance and darkness, which ring with the “sound that fades up from the hiss, / like a glass some random downdraught had set ringing, / now full of its only note, its lonely call.” In 40 Sonnets, Paterson returns to some of his central themes—contradiction and strangeness, tension and transformation, the dream world, and the divided self—in some of the most powerful and formally assured poems of his career.
An enlightening, celebratory anthology of the most classic and enduring of forms edited by two major poets.
No poet has been more wilfully contradictory than John Donne, whose works forge unforgettable connections between extremes of passion and mental energy. From satire to tender elegy, from sacred devotion to lust, he conveys an astonishing range of emotions and poetic moods. Constant in his work, however, is an intensity of feeling and expression and complexity of argument that is as evident in religious meditations such as 'Good Friday 1613. Riding Westward' as it is in secular love poems such as 'The Sun Rising' or 'The Flea'. 'The intricacy and subtlety of his imagination are the length and depth of the furrow made by his passion,' wrote Yeats, pinpointing the unique genius of a poet who combined ardour and intellect in equal measure.
Fifty-nine "Stern sonnets" of twenty or so lines from the 1998 National Book Award winner. This stunning collection moves from autobiography to the visionary in surges of memory and language that draw the reader from one poem to the next. "I was taken over by the writing of these poems," Stern says.

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