A Lover’s Complaint

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_A Lover’s Complaint by William Shakespeare
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Although in the same metre and structure as The Rape of Lucrece, this poem both shorter and more compact in it’s plot. A Lover’s Complaint is the story of a young woman who is wooed, seduced, and then abandoned by a lover while lamenting the fact that she’d fall for his charms again if given the chance. The short length of the poem while also having a compact plot makes this a better product by Shakespeare, though the quality is not with his other poetry.

Works of William Shakespeare

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Sonnets

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Sonnets by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The 154 sonnets by Shakespeare are the height of his poetic effort. The use of language to keep the rhyming so crisp and at such a high level is masterful. To single out one poem as the best would be impossible given the complexity and subject matter that many of them have. But for me personally, the “Dark Lady” sequence was the best.

Works of William Shakespeare

The Phoenix and the Turtle

The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This Shakespearean poem, although short in length, is full of potential meaning. The most obvious meaning is the death of ideals embodied by the two birds, however through symbolism the mean could take on religious overtones or even by the embodiment of humans. Of course Shakespeare could have just written a poem following an ABBA rhyme that transitions to a ABA rhyme that appears to have a meaning but in fact as no meaning at all. In any case, it is a wonderful poem.

The Passionate Pilgrim

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The collection of poems is a diverse collection, though obviously not all of them are Shakespeare’s. The Venus-Adonis theme is in several of the poems and might be earlier versions by Shakespeare of his bigger work or another poet’s work on the theme, in either case all of them were well done. It’s hard to really review this collection because many of the poem’s writers are anonymous.

Works of William Shakespeare

The Rape of Lucrece

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The second long poem I’ve read in my read-through of Shakespeare and unfortunately I don’t have a good opinion. It was not the subject manner nor the quality of the rhyme, but the various shifts of point-of-view are confusing and the long deviations, I call them this because I couldn’t figure out the relevance to the narrative, are confusing. However, in the end it could just be me.

Works of William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The first poem in my reading, Venus and Adonis, is a smooth constructed story based on the Greco-Roman myth. Though I did get lost a few times when figuring out if the narrator, Venus, or Adonis was speaking it was an enjoyable piece. The ABABCC stanzas were well done and I often found myself admiring the precision of rhymes than the actual content.

Works of William Shakespeare