Summary and Analysis Sonnet 91



The poet examines his love for the young man in a more relaxed, less urgent vein. He first catalogues different activities that people like to immerse themselves in, then he admits that he values the youth's precarious love more than any other sport or possession he already listed in the first quatrain; finally, he concludes of the young man, "And having thee, of all men's pride I boast." However, he remains doubtful about any joint future with his young love: "Wretched in this alone: that thou mayst take / All this away and me most wretched make." Coming as they do as the end couplet in the sonnet, these lines show just how vulnerable the poet is, for the word "wretched" appears twice in the couplet, and the complete stop after the alliterative phrase "me most wretched make" emphasizes the empty void that the poet is so fearful of when the youth finally abandons him.