Shakespeare’s sonnets

When I consider how this little book
Has followed me through nation states and schools,
I marvel that it took the paths it took
With student, teacher, and with all my fools.
Collector’s Library, A6 pages gilded,
John Taylor’s portrait ovalled onto cream,
The unpaid, unplayed fourteen lines that Will did
Are pinstriped to a publisher’s regime.
The dustjackets that dust my jacket pocket
Perform a changing of the paper guard,
But every bookshelf, when I come to stock it,
You haunt an affable familiar bard.
            Obituaries need writing, envois no:
            You’ll fall apart before I let you go.

by Harry Cochrane

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