Sonnet 44: If the Dull Substance of My Flesh Were Thought
Sonnet 44 is the first in two pairs of poems that together sit in a larger group of sonnets which see William Shakespeare spending time away from his young lover and expressing his anguish over this absence. It comes in an unequal coupling with Sonnet 45, whereby 44 can easily stand on its own, but 45 directly follows on from 44 and only makes sense when read in its context. And of course, we will look at them both together in the next episode. This instalment though focuses on 44.