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Download Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems (Unabridged) Audiobook, by William Shakespeare
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (34,876 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Charlton Griffin Publisher: Audio Connoisseur Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN:
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The sonnets are a collection numbering 154 poems dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality. They were probably written over a long period of Shakespeare's life up until 1609, when they were first printed. The first 17 poems, traditionally referred to as the procreation sonnets, are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it on to his descendants.

The other sonnets: express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life; appear to criticize the young man for preferring a rival poet; express ambiguity toward the speaker's mistress; and make a pun on the poet's name. The final two sonnets are allegorical recreations of Greek epigrams referring to the little love-god Cupid. Shakespeare's sonnets were strongly influenced by the Latin poet Horace.

In 1593 and 1594 the London theaters were closed because of plague. Shakespeare turned to poetry and published two narrative poems on erotic themes, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece. In Venus and Adonis, a youthful Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus; but in The Rape of Lucrece, the virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lascivious Tarquin. Inspired by Ovid's The Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion resulting from uncontrolled lust. A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, presents a young woman who laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor. The Phoenix and the Turtle mourns the deaths of the legendary phoenix and his lover, the faithful turtle dove.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 2/20/2014

    " I love iambic pentameter...but then I am geeky that way. Some of what he writes is relevant today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 2/20/2014

    " I love Shakespeare, but reading all of the sonnets cover to cover is probably not the best way to enjoy them. The edition that I read included a number of longer love poems, which I found a little less approachable than the sonnets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zafirah Muhammad | 2/18/2014

    " I read this in high school and again in college. I love this like I love English gardens, architecture and farm houses "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liam Carter | 2/17/2014

    " Incredible poetry, best digested slowly and thoroughly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ming | 2/14/2014

    " I read this to better understand the AP English tests... but it was actually really good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nadine | 2/12/2014

    " I enjoyed reading these for the most part. I mean, I wouldn't go out of my way to read them again, but I'm still giving it 4 stars because who am I to give Shakespeare less than 4 stars? A lot of them were on the theme of "I love you so much, so I am going to write this poem so that you will live on in eternity", which they did, but we don't actually know who he is writing about so he's kind of a liar. My favourites were 71, 91, 105, and 109. I made that list so I knew which ones to go back and look for should I have ever need a sonnet. In general I preferred the ones that were later on in the arrangement because I found they were a bit more serious. Apparently I like tragic poems. Also, there were some of them I couldn't make out at all, but I just gave up and moved on. All and all I am glad I read them, but probably won't be able to quote them anymore than I could before, so y'all are just going to have to believe that I read them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Koolmom84 | 1/24/2014

    " Anyone who likes to go back in time (and think about just having time to read) will enjoy this book even if the poems are not easily understood. I like to spend my time trying to figure out their meaning. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beyle | 1/22/2014

    " I read these sonnets from the perspective of book history. However, the recurrent themes of immortality and time are interesting from the perspective of how Shakespeare might have given his consent to have these sonnets published. Of course, there are many conflicting theories about how these poems came to be and to whom they were written. Perhaps Shakespeare did not write these for any particular person, but rather, to secure his own immortality through his poetry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ariella | 1/16/2014

    " One of Shakespeare's less known works, but really truly powerful. Not only do the poems talk of love, lust, and relationships, but they go deep into values and the fundamentals for finding love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Lipson | 1/13/2014

    " The reason I'm a poet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suchismita | 1/10/2014

    " ders no poetry wdout shakespeare's !!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 12/22/2013

    " William Shakespeare is a master of the English language, poetry and wit. This was my first read through the entire book of Sonnets and it was interesting to see how the tone and message changed over time. This is one of those books I will visit again and again, although probably not in its entirety. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aspasia | 12/20/2013

    " My favorite Shakespere sonnets are the ones dedicated to his Dark Lady. And, of course, Sonnet 18. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 12/8/2013

    " Yeah, I'm a sap. So sue me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonia | 12/8/2013

    " Supreme. Poetry at its' deepest hardcore! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katyakatyak | 12/3/2013

    " shall i compare thee to a summer's day? the sonnets are by far my favourite of shakespeare's writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Halys Hickman | 8/28/2013

    " I was introduced to Shakespeare when at school. it opened up an amazing world of writing to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 8/19/2013

    " this is a great read for everyone! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corinne | 7/13/2013

    " I've read his sonnets one thousand times over and I still can't get enough. I absolutely love them, which is great, since we'll be studying them AGAIN in my senior seminar course AND my Shakespeare (my second time in this class haha) course this coming fall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel (Sfogs) | 5/23/2013

    " These were very good, my favourite is '116' though only because it's on the 'Sense and Sensibility' movie :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 4/1/2013

    " Reall amazing texture and layers. Double and triple-word play. You can mine new gem out of any one of these sonnets with every read. I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willa Grant | 10/29/2012

    " When I was a baby-child my mother would read me Shakespeare's sonnets instead of childrens stories before I went to sleep & I still find them lovely 7 comforting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 9/7/2012

    " As a completist, I read them all, but didn't really bond with the sonnets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Allen | 9/5/2012

    " I love Shakespeare's sonnets. They are so beautifully written! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 8/23/2012

    " I really enjoyed reading the sonnets. I read the book over a period of months simply so I could take in what each sonnet was about and enjoy them. This was my first Shakespeare book and I am looking forward to reading all the others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) | 8/14/2012

    " I really have a hard time getting into Shakespeare. I had to read some of the sonnets for my Brit Lit class in college. It was alot better than i had remembered it in high school but it really takes me a long time to digest what he is saying. "

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About the Author
Author William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.