# One day I wrote her name Sonnet LXXXV Russo Ludovica – Toso Martina 4A.

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One day I wrote her name Sonnet LXXXV Russo Ludovica – Toso Martina 4A

Spencer – Amoretti (1595) 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 made my pains his prey. Vain man, said she, that dost in vain essay A mortal thing so to immortalize; For I myself shall like to this decay, And eke my name be wiped out likewise. Not so, quoth I; let baser things devise To lie in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, And in the heavens write you glorious name. Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.

1) a) Give the rhyme scheme of the sonnet: ABAB BCBC CDCD EE. b) Do the rhymes follow the usual pattern of the Elizabethan sonnet? No, they don’t because the Elizabethan structure is: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG and they follow the usual pattern of Petrarchan sonnet.

2) Does the metrical structure correspond to the internal division of the sonnet’s contents? In other words, does each metrical section tell a part of the story? Yes, each metrical section tells a part of the story: in the first quatrain the poet says that he wrote two times the name of his woman on the strand, but the waves came and washed it. In the secon quatrain the woman thinks that the poet is making an unuseful thing because he is trying to immortalize a mortal thing. In the sestet he says that he wrote her name in the heavens and in this way she will live forever and their love will last.

3) The whole sonnet centres on the contrast: “time destroys/poetry (love) gives eternal fame”. Yet time is never mentioned in the poem. What words and expressions indicate the inevitability of time? The words that indicate the inevitabily of time are: came – washed – one day – again – mortal thing – to immortalize – decay – baser things – to die. What words and expressions indicate the power of poetry to give eternal life? The power of poetry to give eternal life is expressed in lines 11 and 12 especially with the words “my verse shall eternize”: you shall live by fame – to eternize – the heavens – glorious name – our love shall live, and later life renew. The poet said to be a “vain man” who tries to immortalize mortal things.

4) As often happens in the Renaissance poetry, an important idea in the poem is matched by a corresponding use of words. In the first quatrain what are the expressions that indicate repetition? In the first quatrain the expressions that indicate repetition are:  wrote - wrote  name - it (name)  waves - tide  came - came

5) A subtle variant form of repetition is given in lines 5, 6 and 14. The words that are repeated in these lines are not identical but strike the reader as being very closely connected. This is a rethorical device called “etymological figure”, as in “cold – coldly – coldness” where all three words have the same root. Can you find the etymological figures in the sonnet? The etymological figures in the sonnet are:  “vain man - vain assay” (line 5)  “mortal - immortalize” (line 6)  “verse - virtues” (line 12)  “ live-life” (line 14)

6) In this sonnet the usual opposition “lover/lady”, “love offered/ love rejected” is replaced by another. a)What is it? The usual opposition is replaced by the contrast between time which destroys love and poetry which gives it an eternal life. In other words the contrast in the sonnet is: love and mortality. b) What effects does it have on the poem? It is made:  more realistic  of universal value  more dramatic

7) The central contrast could be expressed as life/ death. Where do you find it explicity mentioned in the sonnet? We can find the contrast in lines:  number 6: “A mortal thing so to immortalize”;  number 10: “To die in dust, but you shall live by fame”;  number 13: “Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue”;  number 14: “ Our love shall live, and later life renew”.

8) a) Why do you think the poet wants to write the lady’s name “in the heavens”? I think that the poet wants to write the lady’s name “in the heavens” to make it immortal through the sonnet and the poetry, so she will be eternal and their love will live. b) What is the relation between writing the name in the sand and “in the heavens”? The name written in the sand will “die” because it is washed by water, and “in the heavens” will be eternal and all people can see it: in this way is explained the relation between love and death.

9) According to the Renaissance cosmology, the universe was made of four elements: earth, water, air and fire. Three are presented here. a)What are they? They are water, through the waves and tide; air, through the heavens; and earth, through sand and strand. b)What do you think they represent?  Things that decay  eart, strand  Things that recur  water, waves  Higher, more refined things  air, heavens.

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