By William Shakespeare
For this new version, first released in 1971, Ted Hughes augmented his unique number of Shakespeare's poems and dramatic speeches and fully rewrote his accompanying essay, aspiring to restoration to the typical reader a lot of what, in Shakespeare, was once instinctively to be had to the viewers of his day, and to teach how Shakespeare's language unites in its sinews and substance the total diversity of Elizabethan preoccupations, philosophical and social.
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Additional info for A Choice of Shakespeare's Verse
There is no pressure to raise her right, which is why she chews the furniture, pees on rugs, barks at strangers who cross the lawn. She is his responsible soul broken free. She is the children he couldn’t come home to made young again. She is like my mother but never angry, always devoted. He cooks for his dog— my father who raised us in restaurants— and takes her on business trips like a wife. Sometimes, sitting beside her in the hair-ﬁlled van he drives to make her more comfortable, my father’s dog turns her head to one side as if  thinking and, in this pose, more than one of us has mistaken her for a person.
Didn’t I care about the ones who had gone down before me? How could I tell her their black eyes were like packages I would never open? I wanted what I still want—an impossible history of the thing deeper than nudity or bone: a ﬁngerprint of the voice of the soul.  SUMMER During colder months on that Carolina island we natives lived in neighborhoods of abandoned cottages: each one smelling of salt and scrubbed white by wind and sun. As a child I walked the silent streets, ocean breathing by my side, and imagined a different life for myself inside each empty house.
Birth is awful though, at the time, I claimed it wasn’t. I was confused: a girl too long at a cocktail party and told them, as I was being sewn shut, that the night reminded me of the ﬂu. I felt embarrassed that such a thing had overtaken me, grateful it was over, heroic for denying myself their drugs. I was mad at the doctor for cutting me—even if it was for my own good, mad that they put me on my back to push: I felt defeated like that. Everyone spoke to my husband because he was smart and clothed and not ripped to pieces.