“A caution to first-time readers: her minutely technical interpretations might overwhelm your initial encounter — so maybe this volume is better suited as a kind of “deep dive,” after you’ve already worked through the sonnets on your own. Even when (or maybe: especially when) you don’t concur with her approach, Vendler invariably sparks new insights along the way. She does something else that’s helpful: she modernizes each poem’s punctuation and spelling (like Duncan-Jones does), but she also reproduces a corresponding facsimile image from the 1609 Quarto. Again, your eye can scan back and forth between the different versions, evaluating her editorial decisions yourself.” Read more...
The best books on Shakespeare’s Sonnets