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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sonnetsday 26

It all starts with Petrarch. He wrote brilliant rimes to his Laura in Italy, around the year 1340. He inspired not only the humanists in his own country, but caught the imaginations of the English, who seized upon his sonnets passionately. The first verse translations were by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Elder, in the beginning of the 1520s and 1530s. Together Wyatt and Surrey are credited as the fathers of the English Sonnet, upon whose foundation later English sonneteers like Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare himself built "in sonnets pretty rooms" (Donne, Canonization).

Today for Sonnetsday, I've taken Wyatt's version of a Petrarch sonnet, then show what Spenser does with the same theme, and finally my own continuance of the tradition. And thus, from Italy to America, we have a sonnet conceit that has lasted some 700 years.

Sir Thomas Wyatt




MY galley chargèd with forgetfulness
   Thorough2 sharp seas, in winter nights doth pass
   'Tween rock and rock; and eke3 mine enemy, alas,
That is my lord, steereth with cruelness,
And every oar a thought in readiness,
As though that death were light in such a case.4
An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
Of forcèd sighs and trusty fearfulness.5
A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
Hath done the wearied cords great hinderance;
Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
The stars be hid that led me to this pain.
      Drownèd is reason that should me consort,6
      And I remain despairing of the port.

1  Translated from Petrarch's Rime 189.
2  Through.
3  Also.
4  As though my destruction would not matter much.
5  Fear to trust.
6  Accompany.

Edmund Spenser

LIKE as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
by conduct of some star doth make her way,
whenas a storm hath dimm'd her trusty guide,
out of her course doth wander far astray.
So I whose star, that wont with her bright ray
me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
do wander now in darkness and dismay,
through hidden perils round about me plac't.
Yet hope I well, that when this storm is past,
My Helice, the lodestar of my life,
will shine again, and look on me at last
with lovely light to clear my cloudy grief.
      Till then I wander careful comfortless,
      in secret sorrow and sad pensiveness.

1  Careful, full of cares/worry.

Anniina Jokinen
A Sonnet.

LIKE to a ship caught in the darkest night
In grip of storms most venomous and dire,
So doth my darkling heart quest for the light
And seek salvation from my grief's deep mire.
Yet all my efforts lead but to confusion,
Dragging my barque to ever fiercer seas,
And every sight of harbour's but illusion,
Cruel and deaf the winds to all my pleas.
But, suddenly my weak'ned sight doth spy
A beacon bright amidst the wat'ry waste—
This light, it issues from my lover's eye,
Towards it aim I with all speed and haste.
      'Tis true, without you I am lost and craven;
      Within you find my ship and soul a haven.

Tags: Sonnets | Anniina's Poetry

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Blogger Riykere said...

Hey ^^ Just checking in seeing how things have been going :) Dont know if Shinjo has sent you anything but Diak and him said they missed you the other day. And by the way good job on the Sonnet you wrote. ^^ I actually liked that one where as I'm usually not into that kind of stuff, so good job :) Well take care ^^

September 25, 2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Aww thanks, sweetie, that's high praise indeed :)

This job thingy is like killing me, but I am planning on making a comeback into FFXI. I wonder if my Moogle even remembers me anymore. And I can guarantee I have a room full of dead flowers, LOL!

*huggles*, A

September 25, 2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Riykere said...

Well then looks like you'll have some work to do turning all the dead flowers into living ones again ^^ lol. And glad to hear your planning your comeback. We'll be waiting :) As for your job try your best to live through it :) Cant have you dieing on us, especially since I'm suppose to be your body guard, lol. ;) ttyl, or hopefully see you soon ^^

September 26, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Katja said...

I'm going to London this afternoon. I'd rather spend time with my 3-day old niece, but what can you do :) Hopefully I get to see Tina + Hannu today and EVERY London record-store tomorrow.

btw, it is just 30 days untill we see !

halein, Kiu (aka super-auntie)

September 29, 2006 12:38 AM  

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