Sir Thomas Wyatt

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How might one interpret the poem "Hate whom ye list, for I care not," by Sir Thomas Wyatt?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Some say this ode is written to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, whom Wyatt pursued and was imprisoned for pursuing.

Whether or not Anne Boleyn is the subject, the poem is a sonnet addressed to a lady. The speaker talks to her directly, expressing his seeming indifference to her. The poem opens with the following lines:

Hate whom ye [you] list [wish] for I care not.
Love whom ye list and spare not.

The speaker goes on to tell the women that she should do whatever she wants, because he doesn't care. The implication is that he is tired of being jerked around by her. This is suggested in such directives as "spare not," which indicates that she doesn't spare her...

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