This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 75. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument” by Hank Whittemore, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets.
Shakespeare Sonnet 75 (Original Text)
So are you to my thoughts as food to life,Or as sweet seasoned show’rs are to the ground;And for the peace of you I hold such strifeAs ’twixt a miser and his wealth is found;Now proud as an enjoyer, and anonDoubting the filching age will steal his treasure;Now counting best to be with you alone,Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure;Sometime all full with feasting on your sightAnd by and by clean starvèd for a look;Possessing or pursuing no delight,Save what is had or must from you be took.Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,Or gluttoning on all, or all away.–WIKI
Shakespeare Sonnet 75 Modern Text (Translation)
Shakespeare Sonnet 75 Analysis
The poet tells the fair lord that the youth is important to him as food is to life “So are you to my thoughts as food to life,” and season of rain to grass and to acquire the peace he feels from the youth, “for the peace of you” he fights with himself internally “I hold such strife” like a miser struggling with money As ’twixt a miser and his wealth is found; A miser enjoys his money one moment and in the next he fears for it
that someone will steal it from him “Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;” in the same way the poet feels that one moment it would be better spending time alone with the youth “counting best to be with you alone” `and in the next thinking that it would be better if the world could also enjoy and see his pleasure “world may see my pleasure;”
He says that sometimes he feels full when he feasts on the youth’s looks “Sometime all full with feasting on your sight “and in the next instant he is again desperate to gain a look at the person by and by clean starvèd for a look; and taking or possessing is no delight “Possessing or pursuing no delight,” because all he has is his own or what he gets from the youth Save what is had or must from you be took.
This is why he suffers the whole day Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day, starving and hungry to spend time with the youth all the time because he either gets a lot or nothing at all