Ryan JW Smith – 500 Shakespearean

Billed as ‘the diary of a poetic quest for truth’ this collection of 500 sonnets, whilst being a bit of a foray into quantity over quality, and certainly reading as a literary form of catharsis, is an enjoyable batch of poems. Following the commitment to pen a sonnet a day, first  published on thesonnetblog.com (things slow down in October as he gets distracted by a girl) this collusion of words and mood is an insight into the search for self knowledge from the profliferic Ryan JW Smith.

The collection of 500 sonnets makes the author the man to have written the most sonnets, dwarfing Shakespeare’s paltry 154. Some of the words used are clichéd, and phrases such as ‘there’s the rub’, ‘sleep we dream’ and an overuse of the word ‘perchance’ suggests that the sonnet  form was not the only influence that Shakespeare had.

However,  when couched in this strong and grand form, the poems stand well, and evoke raised passions and wry smiles. Covering the big themes of love, war, passion and society , by way of thr 21st century, the verses explore free trade, terrorism, big houses, drinking, culture, banking, and the ‘power of the Moleskin’ in this nice, if not essential, experiment in and commitment to  the sonnet form.

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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