To Read a Sonnet

by courtvanhaaren

I figured that since I was so worn out from yesterday that I would stick to reading and analyzing some sonnets.Not quite sure it’s the best idea since I pulled up some Keats sonnets and I began to pass out on my keyboard.

Honestly I shouldn’t even be looking at Keats right now since my original intention was to write some Shakespearean sonnets (ah yes, but of course I shouldn’t completely restrict myself to those if I want to truly grow) Doesn’t matter much since I *tried* to pick apart at least one thing of the meter to Keats and I couldn’t. Still got a long way to go, so I should stick with what I barely know.

I am currently reading all of the sonnets on a nifty website called shakespeares-sonnets. It includes commentary and analysis on the meaning behind the sonnets, which definitely helps with older writing.

(And this is where I interrupt to inform the reader I passed out writing the above commentary a few days ago. I haven’t been feeling well. Got three more days to observe my body before I have to make a doctor’s appt. Gross)

As far as Shakespeare’s sonnets go, there are 154 sonnets, which all but three are in iambic pentameter. The exceptions to this rule are sonnets 9, 126, and 145.

The first seventeen sonnets are the “Procreation sonnets”, which urge a man to carry on himself by reproducing. The next sequence of sonnets is for the “Fair Youth”. The Fair Youth is a man whom the sonnets are addressed to. The first seventeen do approach the idea of him reproducing, while the next sequence are more about the romantic/platonic love between the author and Fair Youth. (People argue about it, go figure. I will definitely put my own input on the topic.) But yes, these sonnets to the Fair Youth are the numbers 1-126.

The next sequence of sonnets are for the Dark Lady. I am reading that these sonnets (127-152) are definitely more sexual than the first 126, showing an interesting contrast between the two types of love: emotional and physical. Sweet, I am definitely interested in how Shakespeare approached the two of them.

The final two I think I will be able to explain better in a post after I read them. They are epigrams, all I can coherently explain.


With all this being said, I am going to break up  the readings and postings of Shakespeare’s sonnets according to the sequence of which they appear:Procreation, Fair Youth, Dark Lady, Epigrams. I *might* discuss the Lover’s Complaint narrative, I might not. I am not really sure yet.

Ah yes, also expect a sonnet from yours truly by tomorrow night at the latest. Like I said, I’ve been feeling pretty bad the last few days. I will work on that sonnet plus the Procreation sonnets within the next few days and get a more definite game plan moving for this Slam. I don’t want to spend too much time on sonnets, but I definitely want to check out a couple different types. I am all ears for suggestions if anyone knows any great sonnets to look into.

Now, to get completely moving.

Until later

~C M VanHaaren