A book or suite of poetry should, I think, have a short preface if any at all. Poetry speaks for itself, and yet a few notes might be in order.
As one reads the Song of Songs the reader will notice several voices: those of the female beloved, the male lover, the maidens of Jerusalem, and the beloved’s older brothers. In these sonnets quotation marks are used to indicate the voices of the lover, of the friends, and of the brothers, but not of the beloved since she is the main speaker in the book.
Every translation and commentary will differ at times on who is speaking when. Choices need to be made. Without pretending to resolve all the questions or tensions, I have made mine.
The illustrations are all in the public domain and the sonnets are under copyright (c) to George van Popta, 2016.
These sonnets are dedicated to my wife Dora and were published in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary.