I came across this sonnet tonight, after having not read (or EVER really appreciated) Shakespeare, and this sonnet STRUCK me with clarity and great force. I've long hoped for understanding of Shakespeare, or, really, I've long hoped that I would gather the forces of my self and LEARN Shakespeare and "get" it... Maybe this is a beginning...
Indeed, the permanent concerns of the human soul, or heart, are certainly permanent, or timeless... Ah, the considerations of felt being... of being itself.( And I took the liberty of adding punctuation here, and parenthetical references..., punctuation which tells how I "hear" the sonnet, how I see it at this point... not necessarily how it is MEANT to be read... Maybe it'll help you... I don't know. But read this thing, read it carefully, slowly, and take the words deeply inward, if possible)... :
When, in disgrace... with fortune (money) and (in) men's (society's) eyes,
I, all alone... beweep my outcast state
And (I) trouble "deaf Heaven" with my bootless (bare-footed? as in, poor) cries
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me, like... to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him (a successful and happy individual perhaps)... with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and (/or) that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy, (I am) contented least;
Yet in these thoughts... myself, almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark (of a bird) at break of day, arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd... such wealth brings
That then I scorn... to change my state with kings.