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Bob Holman & Margery Snyder

iPad Poetry: It’s the Real Deal

By July 11, 2012

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Now I’m really and truly longing for an iPad. Touch Press, who put T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” into an IPad app last year, has just released its next poetical app, Shakespeare’s Sonnets for iPad, and it’s getting rave reviews:

from The Verge:
Digital, print, oral: Shakespeare’s Sonnets for iPad brings reading full circle,” by Tim Carmody
“...poetry lends itself inherently to this kind of treatment.... It’s an honest, grown-up take on the Sonnets... unafraid of contradiction and complexity... This treatment makes the poems alive again, with the same mixture of bodily lust and metaphysical wit Shakespeare brought to everything he wrote.”

from The Guardian (UK):
O! that Shakespeare could have downloaded this app,” by Anna Baddeley
“Paterson’s commentary is the best thing about this app. It’s like sitting in the pub with a witty, more literary friend, who uses language such as ‘mind bouillabaisse’ and ‘post-coital freak-out.’”

from the New York Daily News:
Sessions of sweet silent swipe: Shakespeare’s sonnets come to the iPad,” by Alexander Nazaryan
“But then there I am, in my living room, and Jimmy McNulty of the Baltimore Police Department is reading Sonnet 111 ‘O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide...’ and suddenly the poem, so long bound to the page, takes splendid flight.”

It seems Touch Press has actually accomplished what they aimed at: “to create a new kind of book that makes use of emerging technology to redefine the book, reinvent publishing, and forever transform the act of reading.” Shakespeare’s Sonnets for iPad incarnates the poems in the richest of (truly multi-) mediums, bringing them to life on the page and in performance, and allowing readers to immerse themselves in the lines and dig as deeply as they wish into notes and commentary without losing the poems themselves. Those of us who don’t yet own an iPad will have to content ourselves with browsing through the video performances of the sonnets on their Web site.

More on iPad Poetry:
Eliot’s “The Waste Land” Comes to the iPad (2011)
Old-Fashioned and New-Fangled Tools for Poets (including the IPad app for writing poetry, 2010)

More on Shakespeare and Sonnets:
What is a Sonnet?
Our collection of classic sonnets
All about the sonnets at Shakespeare.about.com


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