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.
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
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
 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
 Brought the Italian sonnet form to British
Refers to Anne Boleyn as the deer
 Caesar is a referenced
 Hind (deer) is symbolism as king’s
Metaphysical Poets
Used elaborate metaphors to explore life’s
 What
is another name for an extended
metaphor? CONCEITS
 Common themes of love, death, and religious
 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
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
Sir Edmund Spenser – Sonnet 75
 Eternizing
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
 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
What category does this fall under?
*Hint: It is more than one!
Donne - “A Valediction:Forbidding
 What
does Donne compare love to, and why is this
Poems on test, con’t.
Donne – Holy Sonnet 10
 What
is the conceit (metaphor) present in this
*Death is compared to sleep… but what message
does this suggest?
Should Death be feared? Why not?