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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.