The big news in publishing today may be The Link (see earlier post), but the big news 400 years ago was a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Well, sort of.
As Clinton Heylin writes in So Long As Men Can Breathe—reviewed in the June issue of BookPage by poet Diann Blakely—the Sonnets were originally published as a bootleg on May 20, 1609. Actually, Heylin calls that early folio a “bookleg,” in a nod to the unscrupulous publishing practices of the Elizabethan world.
Bootlegging gives Heylin license to make extensive comparisons between the Bard and Bob Dylan, who has also written a poem or two. (It’s also a logical leap for Heylin, whose previous books include Behind the Shades, a Dylan biography.)
So, what does Heylin say about the Sonnets, works that have delighted readers and confounded scholars for centuries? Pick up the June issue of BookPage to find out. But wait, you also get a chance to win a copy of So Long As Men Can Breathe. Just submit a comment including your favorite line from Shakespeare (sonnet or play) by Friday, May 22.
UPDATE: This contest has now ended.