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The author opens this first sonnet by explaining his motivation for composing the sonnet sequence. He believes that if his love were to read the sonnets, she would eventually return his affection. He argues that her pleasure in his pain would cause her to read his sonnets, and her reading of the sonnets would allow her to know the extent of his affection, which might make her pity the author's situation-and this pity may transform into grace and love.
The author also describes his difficulties in composing the sonnet sequence. He has struggled to express the pain and misery of his emotions and has tried to look at other poets' works in order to gain inspiration. Still, he has been unsuccessful. Finally, the author has realized that the only way to fully express his love for Stella in his poetry is to write from his heart.