Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why we still read the Sonnets

Why are Shakespeare's Sonnets still worth reading? Simply because they are so well written. Yes, they still have the power to move us with their human concerns; but where does that power come from? It comes from the writing. Almost anyone can write of human concerns, but not everyone will want to read, or can derive pleasure from, what that anyone has written.

In Shakespeare's Sonnets we find the whole range of human emotions and a poet who has the skill to memorably express them. And so these sonnets become our own. One day, a friend very close to me hurt me badly; she later asked if I could possibly forgive her. I found myself quoting from one of the sonnets, "'Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove'; of course I forgive you." These poems are still worth reading because they still work.
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