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Sonnets. 14 line lyric Single stanza Iambic pentameter line Intricate rhyme scheme Often written in narrative sequences—sonnet sequence Often concerned with love and desire Diversity of sonnet models . Italian/Petrarchan Sonnet. Named for Petrarch 2 main units

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  1. Sonnets • 14 line lyric • Single stanza • Iambic pentameter line • Intricate rhyme scheme • Often written in narrative sequences—sonnet sequence • Often concerned with love and desire • Diversity of sonnet models

  2. Italian/Petrarchan Sonnet • Named for Petrarch • 2 main units • Octave—eight line section—rhyming abbaabba • Sestet—six line section—rhyming cdecde or variation (e.g. cdccdc) • Octave presents problem or poses scenario that is answered or resolved in sestet • Becomes imitated in English by Milton, Wordsworth, and Rossetti

  3. English Sonnet • Also known as Shakespearean sonnet • Three quatrains (4 line poetic section) with a final couplet • abab cdcd efef gg • Presents three views of perspectives on a problem or scenario with epigrammatic conclusion in final couplet • Flourishes in Renaissance—time of cultural renewal and revival in which classical texts are rediscovered and re-valued

  4. Spenserian Sonnet • Minor variation of English sonnet • Still thee quatrains and final couplet • Quatrains linked by continuing rhyme • abab bcbc cdcd ee

  5. Sonnet • Great diversity of form and subject matter • Initially about love and courtship • Becomes used to address religious, political, and personal issues • Can be presented as occasional poem—poems that memorialize or celebrate specific day or occasion • Can be presented in sequence

  6. Poetic features of sonnet • Conceits—yoking together of disparate concepts or images • Metaphor—expression in which one kind of concept or activity is compared or applied to notably distinct kind of concept or activity (e.g. he’s a fox) • Metonymy—literal term for one concept or action is used to denote closely related concept or action (e.g. crown)

  7. Poetic features of sonnet • Synecdoche—a part of concept or thing is used to denote the whole of concept or thing (40 head [of cattle]) • Petrarchan conceit—conceits (usually about women, love, and beauty)used in love poems that were original when Petrarch used them but became hackneyed and parodied by later English writers

  8. Things we see in the sonnet • Organic form—internal form, structure, balance, and organization • Stock characters—recognizably conventional figures • Stock responses—recognizably conventional responses • Stock situations—recognizably conventional settings

  9. Things we see in the sonnet • Antitype—New Testament correlatives to Old Testament Types • Blazon—Poetic technique in which individual (often woman) is imagined or portrayed by partitioning the body into specified metaphors; mock-heraldic descripton • Bombast—pretentious, verbose, and inflated diction that is notably inappropriate to the matter it signifies

  10. More poetic genres • Dramatic Monologue—lyric poem in which speaker other than poet addresses a distinct individual in an identifiable situation to expose speaker’s character • Dramatic Lyric—similar to dramatic monologue; lyric monologue in which focus is on speaker’s own arguments rather than revealing speakers character

  11. More poetic genres • Idyll—narrative verse that relies upon pastoral techniques • Prose poem—19th-century development; compact and clearly rhythmic verse written as perpetual sequence of sentences without line breaks

  12. Francis Petrarch (1304-1374) • Great Italian poet • Credited with creating sonnet • Consciously modern poet • Seeks to break from medieval learning and customs • Writes on cusp of modernity • Writes of desire for elusive woman dubbed Laura in Rime Sparse

  13. Francis Petrarch (1304-1374) • Humanistic training • Modern sense of alienation in world • Documents diverse effects of his powerful love for Laura • Struggles to reconcile earthly and spiritual love

  14. Francis Petrarch (1304-1374) • Sonnets have confessional tone • Adopts poetic conventions of Apollo pursuing Daphne • Internal male poet revealed through physical descriptions of external female • Petrarchan style becomes imitated and parodied by English sonneteers

  15. Petrarch, “Sonnet” 1 • Addresses reader and prospective reader • Poet seeking pity not pardon • Ashamed to have received so much publicity • Result of shame

  16. Petrarch, Sonnet #3 • “Taken” by Laura on anniversary of Christ’s death • Didn’t think he needed to protect himself from love on such a day • Love finds him disarmed

  17. Petrarch, Sonnet 61 • Blesses time and place when 1st saw Laura • Blesses pain and wounds of love • Blesses despair of lovel • Blesses his own fame derived from sonnets

  18. Petrarch, Sonnet 90 • Laura used to have wild golden hair and bright eyes • Laura used to walk as angel—divine on earth • Would of love still bleeds even if such may no longer be true

  19. Petrarch, Sonnet 333 • To go to Laura’s grave • Poet sick of living • Only business is to praise Laura • Asks Laura may be by his side as he dies

  20. Sir Philip Sidney • Great English sonneteer • Modifies sonnet • Writes lengthy sonnet sequence—Astrophil and Stella • Also known for prose romances and literary criticism

  21. Sidney, Sonnet 1 • English sonnet • Opening sonnet of Astrophil and Stella • Poet to relate his pain to give beloved pleasure • Hoping she’ll read them • His words want invention • Struggling to write • Muse tells him to look to his heart to write

  22. Sidney, Sonnet 2 • Variation of English sonnet rhyme scheme • Wounded by love • Forced to agree to love’s decrees • Tries to convince himself he’s happy as he documents his misery

  23. Sidney, sonnet 7 • English sonnet • Stella’s eyes as nature’s chief works • Questions why her eyes so bright • Offers different explanations

  24. Sidney, sonnet 39 • English sonnet • Calls on sleep • Sleep as balm • Sleep to calm his internal civil wars • If he doesn’t sleep—Stella’s image to be livelier

  25. Sidney, Sonnet 72 • Variation on rhyme scheme of English sonnet • Addresses desire as old companion • Must depart beloved—virtue? • Attempts to banish desire—how?

  26. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 • English sonnet • Beloved more lovely than a summer’s day • Beloved does not fade • Endurance of poetry

  27. Shakespeare, Sonnet 73 • English sonnet • Autumnal tone—autumnal time of life • Glow of fire on ashes of youth • Fire consumed by source of nourishment

  28. Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 • English sonnet • Attempt to define love/absence of love • Does not alter • Does not bend • Ever-fixed mark • Not time’s fool • Lasts till edge of doom • Witty epigrammatic closing couplet

  29. Shakespeare, Sonnet 130 • Anti-blazon • Parodies Petrarchan conceits • Coral more red than beloved’s lips • Snow far more white than beloved’s breasts • Wire as hair • Does the poet still uphold his lady?

  30. Edmund Spenser, Sonnet 1 • Taken from Amoretti • Spenserian sonnet • Slight variation on English sonnet • Continues one rhyme from each couplet • Love/captivity • Writes with tears • Devoted poet—poems aimed to please beloved alone

  31. Spenser, Sonnet 54 • Spenserian sonnet • Poet’s love idly sits • Can make mirth or tragedy • Beloved mocks his comedy and laughs at his tragedy • Nothing can move this woman

  32. Spenser, Sonnet 64 • Spenserian sonnet • Trying to kiss beloved • Blazon of woman • Beloved’s smell better than smell of all these flowers

  33. Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” • Not a sonnet • Contemporary of Shakespeare, Sidney, and Spenser • Invitation to love poem—Carpe diem tropes • Pastoral imagery • Poet will adorn beloved with nature • Dress “organically” • Carpe diem trope dependent on pleasing beloved

  34. John Milton, “How Soon Hath Time” • Italian sonnet • New sonnet subject matter • No longer concerned with love, desire, and courtship • Far more personal sonnets • Religious implications • Time stealing youth • Perhaps he can deceive • Time pays evenly

  35. Milton, “When I consider How My Light is Spent” • Italian sonnet • Life half over • Going blind • Questions why he should continue • How can he serve God? • Told he need not see to serve God • God happy when we bear our mild yoke—or when we simply stand and wait

  36. William Wordsworth, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” • Italian sonnet • Natural splendor surrounds him • City wears beauty of nature like garment • Yet city still asleep—might heart of human energy and potential latent

  37. Wordsworth, “London, 1802” • Italian sonnet • Employs trope of occasional poem • England needs Milton now • England in state of turmoil • Claims English are selfish men • Great admiration for energy and vision of Milton

  38. Wordsworth, “The world is too much with us” • Italian sonnet • Have become too worldly • Lost touch with nature • Out of tune • No longer moved by nature • Turns to pagan alternatives for vivacious imagery of sestet

  39. John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” • Commemorates his reading of George Chapman’s English translation of Homer • He’s traveled plenty • He’s read plenty • He’s heard of Homer • Everything changes when he reads Chapman’s translation • Images of astrology, conquest, exploration to describe experience of opening Chapman’s translation

  40. Reading poetry • Be attuned to unusual word order • Example from Paradise Lost Him the Almighty Power Hurled headlong, flaming from the ethereal sky With hideous ruin and combustion down To the bottomless perdition, there to dwell In adamantine chains and penal fire, Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. (lines 44-49)

  41. Reading Poetry • Example from Paradise Lost do s avJohn asked whom to the prom Mary, the girl whom John asked to the prom, is going a member of Key Club and Beta Club. subjectverb do the Almighty Power [God] / Hurled him [Satan] down

  42. Try asking the 6 Ws • Who? (Subject) The Almighty Power [God] • Did What? (verb) What did God do? Hurled • To whom? Him [Satan}, • Where? Down to the bottomless perdition • Why? [Satan did] defy the Omnipotent [God] to arms • When? (does not say)

  43. Ask- • Under what condition? in adamantine [hard, inflexible] chains and penal [punishing] fire • How? Headlong [pitched him headfirst], flaming from the ethereal sky with hideous ruin and combustion

  44. Epigrams by Ben Franklin • There never was a good war nor a bad peace. • Time is money. • Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down your hedges. • God helps them that help themselves. • Fish and visitors smell after three days. • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life’s made of.

  45. Epigram by Ben Franklin The Body of B. Franklin, Printer; Like the Cover of an old Book, Its Contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Gilding, Lies here, Food for Worms. But the work shall not be wholly lost: ,

  46. A Printer’s Epitaph (1728) cont. For it will as he believ’d appear once more, In a new and more perfect Edition Corrected and amended By the Author. He was born Jan. 6, 1706. Died 17—

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