Uncle Bill needs some confidence (Interlude #7)

Bill threw me for a loop with this selection of sonnets. He seems by turns unsure of himself and asks his friend at a couple of different points to give him the benefit of the doubt but then turns around and implies that he is the greatest of all time. This is a far cry from the Creepy Uncle Bill of sonnets past who just wants his young friend to procreate.

Sonnet 31 – Bill is pretty much telling his friend that his life isn’t worth living if they are to be apart. Aside from the clear codependency this poem demonstrates, he does a fun thing with the language, using imagery of pieces and parts to show that the friend makes him whole.

Coming across a little needy, there Bill

Sonnet 32 – Bill is saying that after he’s dead, other poets will write better verse, but we should remember his for his authentic emotion, if not for his skill. Is that a bit of false modesty I’m detecting here? He could also be saying he is the current peak of poetic skill, and it will not be until a future generation that his abilities will be surpassed. Hmm, perhaps a bit of a #humblebrag, Bill?

Sonnet 33 – The speaker talks about how beautiful the world in sunlight is, but when clouds obscure the sun, he still loves it while being unable to see it. Perhaps he is telling his friend that even while they are apart, he feels just as much affection for them. Or perhaps he’s talking about himself here, that he only sees himself in the morning when he looks in the mirror but loves himself throughout the rest of the day. This is perhaps the most narcissistic interpretation I could come up with, but it seems possible after 32.

Sonnet 34 – The speaker is talking to the sun in this one but is really talking to his friend again. He complains that when he left the house in the morning he expected fine weather, only to have a storm roll in and soak him to the bone. The sun coming out and drying him off is too little too late and it’s not until the sun sheds tears of remorse that the speaker forgives it. This is fun, because in the metaphor of the sun crying, the remorse looks the same as the inciting event, i.e., the rain. This is really just the speaker telling the friend that sorry isn’t good enough but shedding real tears of remorse makes up for all. Ugh, how emotionally manipulative.

Sonnet 35 – The speaker wants his friend to know that although the friend has made a mistake, the speaker already forgave him. In spite of any transgressions, the speaker loves his friend so much, that he already made excuses for him before he could offer up his apology. Again, talk about emotional manipulation. Uncle Bill is taking codependency to a new level in his sonnets.

This set of poems was a little uneven for me, with 31 and 34 being the most fun to take apart, but all five of them having some weird emotional component to them. I can’t wait to see what the next set has in store for me!

Published by Alex H.

Reader, writer, editor, dum-dum.

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