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I love Dr. Seuss, Mother Goose, and William Blake. I have also mentioned my distaste for Frost and Dickenson. I bet you are wondering who could I possible add to my list of poets I enjoy reading. Wonder no more...the second poet in "My Favorite Poets Series" is none other than the bard himself, William Shakespeare.
Like most of you, I was introduced to Shakespeare via his plays. They were required reading for my English classes in high school, and, with one exception, I read everything I was required to read.
Shakespeare's plays seemed to flow so smoothly. I loved them all but my favorites were his comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream holding the top spot. All the mayhem caused by the fairies and Pan were delightful! His tragedies and histories were written in the same style. I am sure I am not the only one who memorized the "To be or not to be" soliquy of Macbeth.
Now you may be wondering why I am talking about his plays, since this is a post about poets. Well, the fact is Shakespeare wrote all his plays in the poetic form called blank verse! That is the reason they flowed for me. His style was smooth and eloquent at the same time.
After reading 4 of his plays, I sought out his sonnets, which were his other main format. I found them to be as easy to read and understand as his plays. He wrote on many themes: love, beauty, morality, and jealousy, to name a few.
My favorites are the ones that use the nature herself to express his thoughts.
From Sonnet 18
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;
From Sonnet 73
In me thou see'st the twilight of such a day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night dot take away,
Death's second selc, that seals up all in rest.
From Sonnet 130
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
From Sonnet 97
What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
He is eloquent and his verses paint a vivid picture in my mind.
I love reading his sonnets, but, as a poet, I am amazed at the ease with which he writes in this format. Sonnets are a very precise form, which I am unable to use. For me it seems to be too complex to achieve.
So, William Shakespeare is another favorite poet. I loved his blank verse plays as well as his strict sonnet poems.
© Cindy J. Smith
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