Renaissance Poetry
Sonnet Basics

14 line Lyric Poem
-
Octave (8 lines)
Sestet (6 lines)
3 quatrains followed by a Couplet (2 lines)
Rhyme Scheme
Volta: (Italian: “turn”) the turn in thought in a
sonnet that is often indicated by such words
as But, Yet, or And yet.
Sonnets

3 forms

English (Shakespearean)

Consists of 3 quatrains and a final couplet



Couplet provides a final commentary on the subject in the 3 quatrains
Rhyme Scheme: abab cdcd efef gg
Italian (Petrachan)

Has an octave and a sestet

octave presents a problem or raises a question; rhyme scheme of

Sestet presents the solution or comments on the problem; rhyme
scheme of cdcdcd or cdecde
abbaabba
Spensarian
-
Interlocking rhyme scheme: abab bcbc cdcd ee
Same structure as Shakespearean sonnet
Each form is slightly different, but all keep the same basic format
of 14 lines
Carpe Diem
Poetry and Cavalier Poets

Yes, it translates to “seize the day”, but
why is that important? Especially to this
time period?
 The
idea that people should think for
themselves and if they make a mistake, then
they will learn from them
 Robert Herrick – “To The Virgins…”
 “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
Pastoral Poetry

Characteristics
 Shepherds
in a rural setting
 Tend to use formal, courtly speech in meters
and rhyme scheme
 Idealistic
 Often involve the message “carpe diem”
 “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
 “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” mimics
this idea; more sarcastic and realistic
“Whoso List to Hunt”
by Sir Thomas Wyatt

What type of poem is this?
 Italian
Sonnet
 Brought the Italian sonnet form to British
literature
Refers to Anne Boleyn as the deer
 Caesar is a referenced
 Hind (deer) is symbolism as king’s
property

Metaphysical Poets

Used elaborate metaphors to explore life’s
complexities
 What
is another name for an extended
metaphor? CONCEITS
 Common themes of love, death, and religious
devotion
 Examples? John Donne; Ben Jonson
 Marked by unconventional imagery
 Think!
Love and Compass?!?!
Metaphysical con’t.

Metaphysical poetry and conceits
 Metaphysical
conceits often use JARRING
comparisons, often using things not really
considered to be poetic at all
 Ex.
“A Valediction:Forbidding Mourning”
What does Donne compare love to, and why is this
significant?
Poems on your test

Sir Thomas Wyatt – “Whoso List to Hunt”
 Petrachan
sonnet, a mix of pastoral and carpe
diem, however the speaker knows that he
cannot

Sir Edmund Spenser – Sonnet 75
 Eternizing

conceit
Shakespeare – Sonnet 18, 116, and 130
 All
contain the Theme of love; Sonnet 130 is
different because it’s sarcastic
Poems on Test, con’t.

Marlowe – “The Passionate Shepherd to
His Love”
 Pastoral
in nature; urges his love to be
spontaneous and tempts her to come and live
with him “and be my love”

Raleigh – “The Nymph’s Reply to the
Shepherd”
 Mirrors
Marlowe’s poem
 Directly answers his proposals in his poem,
with use of Marlowe’s own phrases
Poems on test, con’t.

Herrick – “To the Virgins, Make Much of
Time”

What category does this fall under?
*Hint: It is more than one!

Donne - “A Valediction:Forbidding
Mourning”
 What
does Donne compare love to, and why is this
significant?
Poems on test, con’t.

Donne – Holy Sonnet 10
 What
is the conceit (metaphor) present in this
poem?
*Death is compared to sleep… but what message
does this suggest?

Should Death be feared? Why not?