Shakespeare Sugar Rush

The Sonnets 21-40

Reading too many sonnets in a row is a bit like pigging out on ice cream or chocolate — or ice cream and chocolate. Part brain freeze, part sugar rush; either way, guaranteed to make you feel light headed.

I’m trying to read them as if I’d stumbled upon any old poetry book in yonder bookstore, but it’s not what I’d call an unqualified success. The images are so clotted and the language so dense, I can’t escape the feeling that there’s much going on here that I’m missing.

While I’m happy to have moved beyond the procreation series (Will exhausted that one, or rather the speaker did), I’m still numbed out by the arch romanticism of the whole deal. I mean, love is definitely worth getting all worked up about… but reading sonnet after sonnet is a bit like listening to your college roommate drone on about some girl (or guy) who sits in the front row of French class.

All right, all right, can we play some damned foozeball, already?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the sonnets for distilling love to such heightened intensity. I’m just saying that reading too many in a row will give you cavities. Or a headache. Or make you sigh wistfully for hours on end.

They should come with warning labels like those medication ads you Tivo through on television or flip past in magazines.

All in all, I’d rather get brain freeze or a mental cavity than an erection that lasts over four hours. I suppose then I can safely assert that the complications from adding the Sonnets to your love life will prove less painful than adding either Cialis or Viagra.

In theory, that is. There are still 114 to go.


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