How might one interpret Shakespeare's Sonnet 143, "Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch"?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Shakespeare's Sonnet 143, "Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch", is  written in the traditional form of an English sonnet, namely fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, consisting of three open quatrains followed by a couplet. It consists of a single extended simile. The vehicle is that of a housewife putting down her baby to chase after a chicken that is escaping. The beloved chasing after a third party who is not interested in him/her is compared to the housewife who chasing after the chicken while neglecting her baby. The third party unwilling object of love is compared to the chicken. The narrator/lover is compared to the housewife's baby, and is neglected, loving, and unhappy.