Poem translation


The language used in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29” may seem complex and old-fashioned due to its age. The following is a paraphrase or translation of the poem into modern English, with special attention given to more difficult words and phrases in the line by line analysis.

Stanza 1 

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Translation of stanza 1 

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Stanza 2

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Translation of stanza 2

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Stanza 3

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

(Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth) s...

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