Shakespeare’s Sonnets are among the most lyrical and moving pieces of poetry in any language, abounding with examples of his genius for wordplay, rhythm and metaphor and dealing with the eternal themes of love, memory, beauty and the ravishes of time. First published in 1609, after Shakespeare had written many of his most famous works, the Sonnets have been the subject of literary curiosity ever since, mainly concerning the identity of the two addressees, “Mr W.H.” and the “Dark Lady”, and the light they could shine on Shakespeare’s life.
This collection constitutes one of English literature’s most profound poetic meditations on life and love, and is a vital complement to the plays, offering clues to Shakespeare’s own biography. Presented here in an edition that makes them accessible to twentieth-century readers, these poems are worth returning to again and again.
An English poet and playwright of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, William Shakespeare (1564–1616) is widely regarded as the greatest writer in English literature and the national poet of England. His plays are the most performed of any playwright, and have been translated into every living language.