Summary and Analysis Sonnet 101



Continuing his plea to the Muse of poetry, the poet abandons his silence and philosophizes about the nature of truth and beauty. Nature, he says, is the poet's truth; cosmetic beauty, his falsehood: "Truth needs no color with his color fixed, / Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay." He also returns to another of his favorite themes, the young man's immortality through his verse; he recognizes that his only responsibility in life is "To make him much outlive a gilded tomb / And to be praised of ages yet to be."