The Sonnets

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s sonnets are a collection of 154 poems first published in 1609. Shakespeare explores a wide range of themes, including love, beauty, death, time, and mortality. Many of the sonnets are addressed to a mysterious friend – usually referred to as the “Fair Youth”  while others are addressed to a mysterious dark-haired woman  usually referred to as the “Dark Lady.” The poems also feature recurring images, such as the sun, stars, and bright eyes. Shakespeare’s language is often lyrical and full of metaphor, and many of the sonnets are widely regarded as some of the finest poems ever written.