Notes on the Sonnets- Luke Kennard

A series of Prose Poems set at the same house party. Each poem responds to a Sonnet by Shakespeare, sometimes commenting on the language used, sometimes following a theme to it’s often absurd conclusion. I loved the playfulness of this collection and the surreal nature of the poems. Kennard threads the party with recurring characters and motifs that come back. I’ve never read a book that is so interwoven into another either.

5 things to steal

  • Taking the concept of the After poem to the extreme, where you have to read the sonnet before the prose poem.
  • Be surreal and achingly emotionally vulnerable, often within the same poem.
  • An excellent example of Constrained Writing, where the limitations imposed on the collection expand its scope, not lessen it.
  • Blurring the line between reality and conceit.
  • Clear emotional trajectory that maps to the house party.

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