I went through a phase of reading sonnets. This was when I was a student so is forgivable in terms of the intensity with which I indulged myself. The strange thing is I can remember very few of them now. Some remain, though, and this is one of Shakespeare’s sonnets that has stayed lodged in my mind.
Sonnet 97 ‘How like a winter hath my absence been’
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness every where!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lord’s decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
The sonnets of William Shakespeare are in my hinterland. What’s in yours?