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Sonnets: From Dante to the Present…

Sonnets: From Dante to the Present (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)

by John Hollander

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I found this to be a very useful broad chronological exposition of the sonnet form, ranging from the 13th century to the 20th century. The editor offers a variety of poets, which I believe is the best method for a collection of this type. Someone like me can be introduced to new poets and follow up later to discover more work by an intriguing artist. For example, I appreciate seeing a poem from Countee Cullen, a Harlem Renaissance writer who is not as well known as Langston Hughes, and from Yehuda Amichai, one of Israel's finest poets. I took this little book with me to a baseball game and was able to discreetly read poetry during the game. :) ( )
  eowynfaramir | May 18, 2017 |
This collection did not move me. In his choice of poems in include, the editor made an effort to show the origins and evolution of the sonnet form, and then bring in a variety of modern interpretations. But, for me at least, there were too many early sonnets, bland and insipid, in part because most of the translations from Italian are in archaic English. I'd have rather read more modern sonnets, with a wider range of themes and experiments with the form. ( )
  bezoar44 | Aug 17, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375411771, Hardcover)

"A sonnet is a moment's monument," said Dante Gabriel Rossetti in a sonnet about sonnets.

The sonnets in this collection—whether they capture moments of perception, recognition, despair, or celebration—reveal how great an amount of feeling, insight, and experience can be concentrated into a mere fourteen lines.

Here are classics such as Milton's "On His Blindness," Yeats's "Leda and the Swan," and Frost's "The Oven Bird," juxtaposed with the mischievous wit of Rupert Brooke's "Sonnet Reversed," the lyric defiance of Mona Van Duyn's "Caring for Surfaces," and the comic poignancy of Philip Larkin's "To Failure." From the lovelorn laments of Dante and Petrarch to the artful heights of Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare, from the masterpieces of Wordsworth and Keats to the innovations of Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and James Merrill, the sonnet has proved both versatile and enduring.

This delightful anthology displays the incredible range and power of the verse form that has inspired poets across the centuries.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:49 -0400)

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