Weekly Interlinear Poem







This is the poem
for the week of June 22.
A new interlinear poem
is available each Monday.

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

How like a winter hath my absence been

-Shakespeare's Sonnet No. 97


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 everywhere!
old=twelve months old
And yet this time removed was summer's time,
summer's time=the real (not metaphorical) summer
summer=the warm season, including autumn

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
big=pregnant
rich increase=abundant progeny

Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
bearing=carrying and also giving birth to
wanton burden=result of excessive freedom during the breeding season
prime=springtime (the breeding season)

Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease.
(the widows are pregnant, but the sire has died)
Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans and unfathered fruit,
hope=hope to have a father again
(issue is abundant, but something is missing - a father/the poet's loved one)

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.

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 everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease.
Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans and unfathered 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.