Sonnet • The Italian poet Petrarch , popularized 14-line lyric poems called “sonettos” or “little songs,” which could be read or sung, accompanied by a lute. • Many of his sonnets were written to “Laura,” an idealized woman who remains indifferent to the poet. • =theme of unrequited love. Sonnets • Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey, translated Petrarch’s poetry and introduced it to England. • Sonnets became an immensely popular form of poetry in England. In sonnet sequences or cycles, the sonnets fit loosely together to tell a story. The Italian or Petrachan Sonnet • A 14-line lyric poem • Written in iambic pentameter. • Strict structure: • 8-line octave—presents situation or problem • 6-line sestet—presents change in situation or solution. • The “volta” or “turn,” a change in focus, usually occurs after the eighth line. • Rhyme Scheme: ABBAABBA CDCDCD or ABBAABBA CDECDE The English or Shakespearean Sonnet • 14-line lyric poem • Written in iambic pentameter • Three 4-line stanzas (quatrains)—present related ideas, or the situation (or question and answers). • The turn, a shift or change in focus, usually occurs in the third quatrain (or sometimes in the ending couplet in Shakespeare’s case). • One couplet (two rhyming lines) sums up the poet’s conclusion or message. • Rhyme scheme=ABAB CDCD EFEF GG Conceits • Sonnets often included conceits, comparisons between two seemingly dissimilar things. • Conceits were often the basis for the whole sonnet. • Examples: hunting conceit, icy woman conceit, eternizing conceit, love as a battle, etc. • Romeo uses Petrarchan conceits (also oxymorons) when describing his love for Rosaline as "bright smoke, cold fire, sick health.” Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. temperate=moderate Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date. lease= allotted time date=period of time Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed. sometime= at some time untrimmed=deprived of beauty But thy eternal summer shall not fade. Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. fair= beauty ow’st=owns, possesses “Gli occhi di ch'io parlai si caldamente” by Francis Petrarch The eyes that drew from me such fervent praise, The arms and hands and feet and countenance Which made me a stranger in my own romance And set me apart from the well-trodden ways; The gleaming golden curly hair, the rays Flashing from a smiling angel's glance Which moved the world in paradisal dance, Are grains of dust, insensibilities. And I live on, but in grief and self-contempt, Left here without the light I loved so much, In a great tempest and with shrouds unkempt. No more love songs, then, I have done with such; My old skill now runs thin at each attempt, And tears are heard within the harp I touch.