Presentation on theme: "What is a sonnet? Sonnets are poems that meet the following rules:"— Presentation transcript:
1 What is a sonnet? Sonnets are poems that meet the following rules: All sonnets are 14 lines long.Sonnets in English are written in iambic pentameter, which means that each line has 10 syllables, alternating in an unstressed/stressed pattern.Sonnets follow a predetermined rhyme scheme; the rhyme pattern determines if the sonnet is Petrarchan (Italian), Shakespearean, or Spenserian.All sonnets are characterized by a “turn” located at a designated point in the sonnet.
2 History of the SonnetThe sonnet began in Italy, where the poet Francesco Petrarch first established it as a serious form of poetry. Petrarch wrote a large collection of sonnets addressed to a young woman named Laura he saw one afternoon at church. She was not interested, but he didn’t let that stop him, and proceeded to publish some 260 sonnets about her—followed by another hundred or so after her death. Petrarch is, quite possibly, the first recorded literary stalker.In these sonnets, Petrarch used witty plays on Laura’s name (l’oro=the golden one or the golden; references to laurel trees, etc.) to both honor and attack the object of his affection. He would praise her for her beauty in one sonnet, then condemn her as an icy monster who rejects his love in another. Laura was completely unable to respond to these poems, as women did not write, and her public persona was thus basically Petrarch’s to define.
3 The two major sonnet forms: Petrarchan (Italian) A B A Octave (8 lines) A The TURN C D E C Sestet (6 lines)Shakespearean A B C D C 3 quatrains E F The TURN F G Rhyming G Couplet
4 The Turn of the SonnetA sonnet’s turn is the point in the sonnet where the poet changes perspective or alters his/her approach to description. This often results in a sonnet following a “position-contrasting position” type of structure, or occasionally a “change of heart” in the poet at the end of the verse. Look at this sonnet as an example: Notice that the poem’s turn is a change from discussing what Sleep itself is to what the poet will offer Sleep as tribute if Sleep comes to him.“Come Sleep, O Sleep!” Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, Th' indifferent judge between the high and low; With shield of proof shield me from out the press Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw! O make in me those civil wars to cease! - I will good tribute pay if thou do so. Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed, A chamber deaf of noise and blind of light, A rosy garland, and a weary head; And if these things, as being thine in right, Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me, Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.