pk Sonnet Readings Menu

I’ll launch my readings with three in particular:

  1. A Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?: a fair love sonnet
  2. A Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun: a dark lady sonnet
  3. Sonnet 119: What potion have I drunk of Siren tears: an odd ball sonnet

The fair love sonnets make the major category: 126 of 154 (roughly). 127 to (nearly) 154 is the minor category: the dark lady sonnets. But there’s a third class: sonnets which are neither fair nor dark! or are both! or mix categories.
The rule is important, so are the exceptions!

My readings of those three sonnets will lead my readings of all of the sonnets: three categories of readings:

  1. As itself: a “close reading” a literal reading
  2. an ecological reading, considering its environment: its neighbors, its context (Fair Love, Dark Lady …)
  3. Odd comments: with plenty of room for subjectivity, enthusiasm …

The ecological reading will not depend on the order familiar from Thorpe’s edition of 1609, to some extent the sonnets can be read in any order and still the categories, Fair, Dark, and others, will manifest.

Shakespeare was a popular playwright in the 1590s, but it was Hamlet in the first years of the 1600s that put him on another plane altogether. Hamlet is deep, complex, profound. But take a look at the Sonnets with me: they’re deeper than we’ve conventionally thought. They have a dramatic element easily overlooked. And they have a cybernetic element invisible to previous ages (and damn near invisible still!)
Hamlet is the first utterly modern play; the Sonnets span the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: in lots of ways. Come along, and see. And note how the culture, the universities, have sabotaged my reading for over half a century. The culture that crucifies the god’s messengers dims its chances of hearing what the god was trying to tell it.

balance to be edited:
I’ll also read portions of the Fair Love sonnets in which I originally noticed their epistemologically oxymoronic nature: their cybernetic relationship to Scholastic Realism.
Then I’ll read them here, there, and wherever.

I recommend that the visitor be familiar with all of the Sonnets. Know the conventional readings so there will be no stumbles over particular words, images, conceits. Know the vocabulary: iambic pentameter, heroic couplet, simile, symbol, metaphor … octave, sestet: I’m presenting all that, it is here or will be here. Then read my readings.

Fair Love Sonnet Reading preparations

My first readings will select Fair Love Sonnet 18Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?),
then Dark Lady Sonnet 130My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun),
and third, a sonnet that appears among the first 127 but isn’t symbolically or stylistically their brother: Sonnet 119What potion have I drunk of Siren tears. That sonnet is a fence straddler! Its differences are key to my overall reading.

Then I’ll read portions of the Fair Love sonnets in which I originally noticed their epistemologically oxymoronic nature: their relationship to Scholastic Realism.
Then I’ll read them here, there, and wherever.

pk’s Shakespeare Sonnet Readings Menu

Sonnet 18Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Sonnet 130My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun
Sonnet 119What potion have I drunk of Siren tears

I shan’t hesitate to jot notes, especially minor notes, below any sonnet in any order that it occurs to me to jot them: get them down before I forget. (I’ve already forgotten a great deal since I first tried to express all this at my graduate university.) So my “first” readings are ordinal, not historical. My commenting on Sonnet 17 or Sonnet 129 before I’ve launched the key readings is thus accidental, not significant.

Sonnet 17Who will believe my verse in time to come
Sonnet 129The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

2016 05 14 I suspend the menus and menus of menus till I can complete them, even half way, if ever.

on Shakespeare’s Sonnets

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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