Skip navigation to main content

Featured Poem: Sonnet 98 by William Shakespeare

Written by The Reader, 14th May 2018

We are diving back into William Shakespeare's sonnets for this week’s Featured Poem, a story of springtime beauty and separated companions.

Sonnet 98 is one of the many sonnets which Shakespeare addressed to the ‘Fair Youth’, an important lover or friend. The identity of the man who inspired Shakespeare so, as well as the nature of the relationship between the two, has long been discussed and debated, with the mystery ultimately remaining unsolved.

Dealing with the theme of separation, in Sonnet 98, Shakespeare laments the lack of joy to be found in the beauty of spring, as it pales in comparison to the beauty of his absent companion.

Sonnet 98

 

From you have I been absent in the spring,

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,

Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,

That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell

Of different flowers in odour and in hue,

Could make me any summer’s story tell,

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:

Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;

They were but sweet, but figures of delight

Drawn after you, – you pattern of all those.

Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,

As with your shadow I with these did play.

 

William Shakespeare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Literature

Featured Poem: Envy by Adelaide Anne Procter

This week's Featured Poem is 'Envy' by Adelaide Anne Procter, chosen by The Reader's Head of Learning and Quality, Clare…

Read more
Literature

Featured Poem: Summer Tints by John Clare

This week's Featured Poem is 'Summer Tints' by John Clare, chosen by The Reader's Learning and Quality Leader, Natalie Kaas…

Read more
Literature

Poems for Pride

We're celebrating #liverpoolpride this weekend with some #poemsforpride - check out our recommended reads from LGBTQ+ authors, or those speaking…

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.