[RGC 290.] The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

[read: unrequited, messed up love at its finest]


Enter Renaissance poetry. Pronounce it ‘Ren-aye-ssance’ just to be more annoying. We’ve been reading some great people for my Brit Lit class, but I was excited to hang with my man Shakespeare for a bit by reading his sonnets. Of course, y’all know some of them. Something about a ‘summer’s day’ is the one that everyone recites. In fact, I believe one of my classmates Rebecca recited it for Poetry Out Loud during our senior year of high school. She beat me to advance to the state competition. Still salty.

Shakespeare is funny, so I do recommend you read for the humor. And also for the weird sexual innuendos and his messed up idea of love. He’s a little less focused on unrequited love when compared to the other angsty Renaissance poets, but still something that’d be fun to watch in real life. He also does something really nice by popularizing the notion of beauty that stretches beyond the racialized term “fair” and includes darkness. Though he really means darkness of hair color, it’s a nice thing to see an active change in the perception of beauty in society. Then again, it’s in the perspective of the male gaze, so how much does it really matter? <daily feminist comment here, we run the world, k thanks>

7 out of 10 would recommend.

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