Did Shakespeare study Creative Writing?!
Don’s colleague, Neil Rhodes, Renaissance specialist at St Andrews answers precisely that question in his book Shakespeare and the Origins of English
An exercise for poets when the muse doesn’t strike.
Basil Bunting, the twentieth-century British poet, used to advise young poets to ‘cut out every word you dare!’ He would practise his own advice by ‘editing’ Shakespeare’s sonnets, trying to cross out with his pencil as many words as he could from each sonnet in his battered edition, while still allowing the basic sense of the poem to come through unharmed.
Try this for yourself on one of your favourite sonnets; the results may not ‘improve’ the poem, and it certainly won’t be a sonnet by the time you finish, or even Shakespeare! But you will learn a lot about word choice and the discipline of editing.
Why don’t you post your efforts here?