Everyone knows who William Shakespeare is. He has graced many classrooms, theaters, and households for generations. As a student who found herself in many literature classes, my time with Shakespeare was one spent analyzing the structure, decoding the metaphors, and connecting the words and events to social and political happenings in the years in which the pieces were written.
As a graduate, and as someone who spends her time amidst countless books, across multiple genres, I was drawn back to Shakespeare. Mostly because of the beautiful editions that have since been published of The Bard’s great works, but partly because I wanted to read them without the pressures of responding to them in essay format. I wanted to read for the sheer purpose of enjoyment rather than academic excellence.
And so, in honor of National Poetry Month, I started with his Sonnets. They can be found all over the internet, but I wanted to share one of my favorites them. I encourage all of those who have read Shakespeare, or any author for that matter, for the sole purpose of academic requirement, to go back. Fresh eyes allow us a new opportunity to appreciate the works of centuries past without the pressure to see the author’s meaning/intent. Instead, we get the opportunity to feel it.
Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
Corinne has her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and her MPS in Publishing from George Washington University. She has been an editor at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press since 2013, taking over the company in 2019. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites, and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve.