What is a sonnet? For the Elizabethans, “sonnet” referred to any short poem Iambic pentameter = rhyme scheme 14 lines Quatorzains
Iambic pentameter Iambic foot: unstressedsyllable followed by a stressedsyllable (heartbeat) A line of iambic pentameter is five iambic feet in a row: ˘(breve) = unstressed syllable /(slash or ictus) = stressed syllable
Renaissance Poetry Renaissance Era = 2 basic poetic forms Lyric Narrative 2 types of lyric poetry: Pastorals Sonnets
Sonnets Sonnet Sequence/Cycle: Collection Story, person/thing Unrequited love Three types of sonnets: Spenserian Petrarchan Shakespearian
Edmund Spenser 1552-1599 Working-class Lived off poetry money The Faerie Queene Knightly adventures Good vs. Evil Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth Created own sonnet form
Spenserian Sonnets 3 Quatrains (12 lines) + 1 Couplet (2 lines) a b a b b c b c c d c d e e One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washed it away; Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and make my pains his prey.
Format Basic situation: speaker in love, unfulfilled 3 Quatrains = 3 distinct but closely related ideas Couplet = different idea The volta, or turn, occurs when the line pattern changes and there is a shift in subject or tone.
What are we looking for? Rhyme scheme? Addressed to what/whom? Discussing what/whom? Metaphor? Feelings toward his love?
Happy ye leaves when as those lily hands, Which hold my life in their dead doing might, Shall handle you, and hold in love's soft bands, Like captives trembling at the victor's sight. And happy lines! on which, with starry light, Those lamping eyes will deign sometimes to look, And read the sorrows of my dying sprite, Written with tears in heart's close bleeding book. And happy rhymes! bathed in the sacred brook Of Helicon, whence she derived is, When ye behold that angel's blessed look, My soul's long lacked food, my heaven's bliss. Leaves, lines, and rhymes seek her to please alone, Whom if ye please, I care for other none
What are we looking for? Rhyme scheme? True Spenserian Addressed to what/whom? His poetry Discussing what/whom? His relationship with/love for a woman Metaphor? Poet like the book…both will be held by his love she holds his life in her hands Feelings toward his love? In awe of her, angelic, a muse- she inspires his writing