14,765 book reviews and counting...

Books in the Media Update

This website is no longer being updated; theBookseller.com is the home of all books related-content and will continue to be updated with regular articles about books featured in the media. Thank you for using this website, and we hope you join us on theBookseller.com.

Notes on the Sonnets Reviews

Notes on the Sonnets by Luke Kennard

Notes on the Sonnets

Luke Kennard

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Penned in the Margins
Publisher: Penned in the Margins
Publication date: 23 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781908058812

Luke Kennard recasts Shakespeare's 154 sonnets as a series of anarchic prose poems set in the same joyless house party. Wry, insolent and self-eviscerating, Notes on the Sonnets riddles the Bard with the anxieties of the modern age, bringing Kennard's affectionate critique to subjects as various as love, marriage, God, metaphysics and a sad horse.

5 stars out of 5
Cal Revely-Calder
23 Apr 2021

"as riddling and enjoyable as the old sonnets on which it riffs"

Jumping from one room to another, a hallucinatory scene to a drunken bore, Kennard’s book is good-humouredly wild. It reminded me of John Berryman, whose self-joshing Dream Songs, and their own Shakespearean vibes, any poetry fan in their cups might quote. That’s another habit of characters in Notes on the Sonnets – reeling off what they hope are bon mots – and Berryman’s sequence, too, if it is one, plays tricks with linear time. Its hyper-emotionalism could be an act, or just sincerity. You don’t know what you’re listening for, in restless poetries such as these, and may not expect it when it comes. I often thought of Mika Gellman, a poet who wrote one astonishing book called jack in 2013, then seems to have vanished into the Brooklyn air. 

Reviews