10 of the Best Songs from Shakespeare’s Plays

The best Shakespeare songs

Previously, we’ve picked 10 of Shakespeare’s finest sonnets and 10 of his greatest plays, as well as some of the greatest speeches from his plays. But within his plays there are many songs which have become famous as poems in their own right. Phrases like ‘full fathom five’, ‘fear no more the heat of the sun’, and ‘under the greenwood tree’, this last helped by Thomas Hardy using is at the title for one of his novels, have all taken on a life of their own. A. E. Housman named Shakespeare’s songs as one of the most important influences on his own poetry. Below, we pick 10 of Shakespeare’s best songs from the plays, and say a little about each of them.

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10 of the Best Poems about the Soul

Selected by Dr Oliver Tearle

For John Keats, ‘Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul.’ For James Elroy Flecker, ‘It is not the poet’s business to save man’s soul but to make it worth saving.’ Poetry and the soul have always been closely intertwined; so with that in mind, here are ten of the best poems about the soul and spirit.

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10 of the Best Poems about Fame and Celebrity

For Emily Dickinson, fame is a bee; William Shakespeare, in the opening words of Love’s Labour’s Lost, described it as the thing that ‘all hunt after in their lives’. Poets have often written about celebrity and being famous, so here are 10 of the best poems about fame, glory, and celebrity.

Geoffrey Chaucer, The House of Fame. We begin this rundown of the best poems about fame with the first great poet in English literature: Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400). Although it’s nowhere near as long as The Canterbury Tales, The House of Fame is still a substantial work, in which the poet falls asleep and dreams he’s in a glass temple adorned with images of glorious and famous people from history (including the poets Ovid and Virgil). This

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