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These are all Shakespeare's sonnets complete with active Table of Contents. There are 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality. All but two of the poems were first published in a 1609 quarto entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.: Never before imprinted. Sonnets 138 and 144 had previously been published in a 1599 miscellany entitled The Passionate Pilgrim. The quarto ends with "A Lover's Complaint", a narrative poem of 47 seven-line stanzas written in rhyme royal.

The first 17 sonnets, traditionally called the procreation sonnets, are ostensibly written to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalise his beauty by passing it to the next generation. Other sonnets express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life; seem to criticise the young man for preferring a rival poet; express ambiguous feelings for the speaker's mistress; and pun on the poet's name. The final two sonnets are allegorical treatments of Greek epigrams referring to the "little Love-god" Cupid. 

Let's set the scene...

Lorelai and Rory's study session continues late into the night...



Rory: The sonnets are 154 poems of 14 lines

Lorelai: Except?

Rory: Except for 126 which is 12 lines.

Lorelai: Good.

Rory: They are written in iambic pentameter.

Lorelai: Except?

Rory: Except 145 which is in tetrameter.

Lorelai: Rock on sister.


In addition, The Sonnnets were also referenced briefly in a previous scene, as Paris tries to psych Rory out.  Using Shakespeare for mind games... that girl might have issues, but she is a true evil genius!  [The excerpt Paris recites here is from Sonnet CXVI]


[Rory is sitting on a bench reading. Paris comes up behind her]

Paris: ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments, love is not love which alters when it alterations finds or bends with the remover to remove - oh no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. It is the star to every wandering bark who worth’s unknown although his height be taken’.  You’re going down. 


My thoughts:

As these are all individual sonnets, it's difficult to really provide comprehensive thoughts on the work in it's entirety.  So I have just a few things to say:

1.  Read these out loud. 
I'm actually not having the issue reading Shakespeare I thought I was going to have.  So the recommendation to read the sonnets out loud is not for comprehension, but to really feel the words.  He is an artist with words, and it's never more evident throughout his works than it is in his sonnets.  The words just feel and sound lovely as they leave your lips.  Get the full experience of his words, and read at least a few of the sonnets aloud to yourself. 

2.  [from sonnet XVIII]
"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May...
...But thy eternal summer shall not fade..."
For most of you who grew up in my generation, you know EXACTLY what line came to my head after reading this...

"Phat!  Did you write that?"
"Duh!  It's, like, a famous quote!"
"From where?"
"Cliff's Notes!"

And given the fact that I just quoted Clueless in my review on Shakespeare, I think it's official... i have hit rock bottom.  Oh, wait!  I have one more thing that will TRULY secure my reputation....




Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?

Anyone who loves Kirk the way Lulu does is someone who would appreciate the beauty and romanticism in Shakespeare's sonnets. 

Ahhhh... that feels much better.

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