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The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Helen Vendler

ISBN 9780674637122

Publication date: 11/01/1999

Helen Vendler, widely regarded as our most accomplished interpreter of poetry, here serves as an incomparable guide to some of the best-loved poems in the English language.

In detailed commentaries on Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, Vendler reveals previously unperceived imaginative and stylistic features of the poems, pointing out not only new levels of import in particular lines, but also the ways in which the four parts of each sonnet work together to enact emotion and create dynamic effect. The commentaries—presented alongside the original and modernized texts—offer fresh perspectives on the individual poems, and, taken together, provide a full picture of Shakespeare’s techniques as a working poet. With the help of Vendler’s acute eye, we gain an appreciation of “Shakespeare’s elated variety of invention, his ironic capacity, his astonishing refinement of technique, and, above all, the reach of his skeptical imaginative intent.”

Praise

  • This book is a great achievement, the work of an author with an almost devout passion for good poems, a passion that the academy has not succeeded in killing.

    —Frank Kermode, New Republic

Author

  • Helen Vendler is A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 696 pages
  • 6-1/2 x 10 inches
  • Belknap Press

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