Feeling thoughtful

I am so immersed in my present novel that many things I see, hear or read seem to relate directly to what is happening to the characters.

This very reflexive sonnet made me think of the main character Thomas who is having some difficulties at the moment; the nearer it comes to Christmas the more despondent he gets… but then someone he works with gives him courage and hope; her life is very hard but she is courageous and strong and if she can be, then so can he! The metaphor of the lark arising is quite appropriate too as some very important events take place in a pub called The Lark!

Sonnet XXIX

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare


  1. Peter Bull

    I think this is probably my favourite of all Will’s sonnets. I love the way it has nine lines of self-centered woe building up to that pitiful ‘despising’, then it reverses itself, revolving around ‘haply’ to suddenly focus on the beloved and become joyfully romantic. It’s a simple thought – ‘whenever I feel sorry for myself I think of you and then I feel better’ – but so beautifully expressed. Definitely has the Hitchens factor, that one.


    1. Lois

      When I posted it I remember you mentioning it, and I read it several times just to enjoy it… really wonderful and I’m not sure how I never really noticed it before when reading through the sonnets.


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