View Full Version : Hi, I have a question about this poem.

02-22-2008, 11:59 AM
Hi, I have a question about this poem.

Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will,'
And 'Will' to boot, and 'Will' in overplus;
More than enough am I that vex thee still,
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea all water, yet receives rain still
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thou, being rich in 'Will,' add to thy 'Will'
One will of mine, to make thy large 'Will' more.
Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill;
Think all but one, and me in that one 'Will.'

Can you explain the first two lines for me? I don't understand. I thought 'thou' and 'thy' are synonyms, so what does "thou hast thy 'Will' " mean?
Can you rephrase the first two lines for me?
What about the next two lines?


02-22-2008, 11:54 PM
I said to myself this sounds very familiar. A little Google search reveals it is from Shakespeare's S 135:


''I am Will {Shakespeare} and my will shall be in thee''

It suggests he will put a certain part of his anatomy into her: to boot, overplus meaning she will have his anatomy in good measure.

Yup, it is highly suggestive!;)

02-23-2008, 03:06 AM
Hi, can you explain it one more time? I still don't understand.

1)What does the first word "Will" mean? (line 1) Everyone has their dream, or wish. But what does this fact have to do with the fact that 'you' have 'your will'?

2) What does 'boot' or 'overplus' mean?
'Will' can boot, can overplus. So what is 'Will'?

3) Why do you know that 'Will' is Shakespeare? And who is 'her' in your post?

Thank you very much. I know I'm asking too much but I really don't understand.

02-23-2008, 08:16 PM
Poems by their nature are often purposefully ambiguous.

From past discussions on the subject and as suggested by that link, the first 'Will' is the poet himself. Clearly he is imposing his way upon the poor girl. Some guys who are naughty minded have been known to give a name to their appendage. Evidently, this is what the poet has done. Then, he says he will make that appendage a part of her makeup.

I have already said what 'boot' and 'overplus' mean = the expression ''to boot'' means in addition'; ditto for 'overplus'.

He is saying he will give her more than she can handle of his appendage.

Need I say more?

.................................................. .................................................. ..

As a literary scholar, my specialization is 19th century literature with emphasis on American, Russian, and European writings to a lesser extent. Up to about the Victorian era, literature was often quite bawdy. Songs of Turlough O'Carolan (Ireland), as an example, was exceedingly bawdy and to this day when his music is played on classical music stations, the announcers cannot mention the titles of his compositions. Here is one edited example: ''My C**k Upon Thy Beaver''.

Literature of the British Isles, like the early Greek writings that so often inspired them were equally naughty. Therefore, please do not be surprised by the bawdiness of Shakespeare. His works are far nastier than many in the modern audiences suppose. :)

02-24-2008, 10:19 AM
BTW, back in my old town of Brooklyn, NY the expression ''my willie'' is a reference to one's sexual appendage.

That's what Willie Shakespeare was driving at.

{ahem ...}

02-24-2008, 10:39 AM
Country boy Paul Overstreet says it best:



02-24-2008, 01:10 PM
Oh I'm very sorry for posting a bawdy poem here. I don't know about the content before. I don't know it has a sexual innuendo. I am just looking for poems to practice my English and came across this poem.
I'm terribly sorry.

02-24-2008, 03:14 PM

You did absolutely NOTHING wrong!

Shakespearean works are ART, not porn. His works are studied in junior/senior high schools as well as colleges. Believe you me, there are passages in the Bible that make his lines seem tame.

Therefore, we in this forum owe you a world of thanks for your inquiry as this type of discussion opens peoples minds and serves to enlighten them.

As one who reveres literary and all other forms of art, I give you my sincerest thanks for your open mindedness and receptiveness to knowledge.


Il Penseroso
02-24-2008, 03:34 PM
hmm, hells, do you really think Shakespeare would be studied in such depth if his poems were so easily, and unquestionably, anatomized to their most base content?

sure you can interpret this poem by the "greatest English language poet" as a man simply talking about his willie, but is that really enough?

02-24-2008, 04:00 PM
Even unto this day Shakespeare's works are being subjected to varying interpretations. That is what makes it art! :)