I Think of Thee (Sonnet 29) Themes

I Think of Thee (Sonnet 29) Themes

Reality vs Fantasy

The poem shifts between the speaker’s fantasy and mental thoughts of her lover, to the reality of his physical presence which is right beside her. It is implied that the real version of her lover is far superior to merely thoughts of him. In her fantasy she cannot see him clearly, hence she prefers it when he is there with her in person.


Nature is an underlying theme throughout the poem and presents in various forms. The speaker describes her lover in physical terms relating to nature, for example: as a “twine”, “bud” and “wild vines.” She describes his image as being hidden by “straggling green” vines, and he is also likened to a “palm-tree.”


Love is an overarching theme of this poem and guides the speaker’s thoughts and actions. She states that “I will not have my thoughts instead of thee”, suggesting that she would rather be in the actual presence of her lover than linger with her thoughts. The speaker also claims that her love is so deep that it has the ability to “shatter” her.

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