Cannot Be Fully Contained.....

i have secrets

those valleys and
hills that i love and that
i can exchange
my soul for

those sunsets
that i adore and which

you cannot see
and ever speak

for which my eyes
feast and delight
my hands hold so
like the sun and

too many of them
not one, yet, you can

i am dead
because of those
that you have
never seen
or tasted

and so forgive me
for all those
those excuses

i am alive
in the world of the dead
of too much

my hands even in
my eyes even in
cannot be
fully contained.


Comments (3)

The sonnet continues the contradictions of the previous one. In 137 his heart believes one thing, (that she is his alone) , but knows that it is not true, while his eyes also, seeing a certain fact, refuse to acknowledge that it is true. Here the poet insists on believing something which he knows to be untrue. The poem hinges on the various meanings of 'to lie': the obvious one of telling untruths, and the less direct one of deceiving oneself; ending with a a third meaning of 'to sleep with', 'to have sex with'. This gives the more realistic motivation for lover and beloved behaving as they do to each other, and lying in their hearts for comfort and pleasure's sake.
The opening line sets the scene by suggesting that there is a need to patch up the loving relationship, the woman having to swear that she is true, implying that doubt has arisen, and the poet having to pretend that he is younger than he is for fear of losing her. The basis for love is therefore flawed and the love between them mirrors the flaws in their characters. Nevertheless they seem to reach a plateau of relative contentment, and can almost enjoy the game of deception.
This sonnet and 144 were both printed in The Passionate Pilgrim, a collection of 20 poems which appeared in 1599, published by William Jaggard. It is generally thought to have been a pirated edition, unauthorised by Shakespeare, although the title page claims that it is By W. Shakespeare. Three lyrics from Love's Labours Lost are included in the collection, the other poems being of uncertain authorship, although it is thought that some of the others might well be by him (e.g. Crabbed age and youth / Cannot live together.) .