James Anthony: an eclectic writer of fiction, travel and poetry.
Shakespeare's Sonnets, RETOLD
James Anthony's current project is a contemporary rewrite of all 154 of the Bard's eternal verses. These literal translations - written in the traditional iambic pentameter and rhyming patterns of the originals - help reveal the beauty of Shakespeare's Sonnets to the modern reader.
Praise for Shakespeare's Sonnets, Retold,
By Stephen Fry
“James Anthony has done something I would have confidently stated to be impossible. He has ‘translated’ Shakespeare’s sonnets and he has done so with an insolent, loveable charm. You would imagine that anyone with the hubris or chutzpah to embark on such a project, daring to fly so close to the English language’s poetic sun, would plummet Icarus-like into the sea. Actually, he has ascended the brightest heaven of invention.
This reinterpretation of the cycle is a dazzling success. Reading the originals and Anthony’s versions side by side enriches both to a remarkable degree. I thought I knew Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets too well to need anyone to gloss or simplify them, but I was quite wrong. The complex, beautiful, disturbing, ambiguous and beguiling thoughts that Shakespeare compresses into his sonnets are worked by Anthony into the same exacting and rewarding fourteen line form but with an ease and fluency that makes you count the syllables to check he hasn’t been cheating.
Aside from the pleasure any reader can derive from this achievement, schools and colleges will stamp and cheer with unrestrained gratitude and delight.”