Sonnet XCVII: How like a Winter hath my Absence been

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 William Shakespeare
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 remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' 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.

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Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Living, Summer, Separation & Divorce, Nature, Winter, Fall

Occasions Farewells & Good Luck

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 William  Shakespeare

Biography

While William Shakespeare's reputation is based primarily on his plays, he became famous first as a poet. With the partial exception of the Sonnets (1609), quarried since the early nineteenth century for autobiographical secrets allegedly encoded in them, the nondramatic writings have traditionally been pushed to the margins of the Shakespeare industry. Yet the study of his nondramatic poetry can illuminate Shakespeare's . . .

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Poems by William Shakespeare

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Summer, Separation & Divorce, Nature, Winter, Fall

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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