“What is one of your favourite literary devices? Why do you like it? Provide a definition and an awesome example.”
Answer – Sonnet.
The Sonnet is a form of poetry of European origin, particularly Great Britain and Italy. By the thirteenth century had formalised into a fourteen line poem in iambic pentameter with a prescribed rhyme scheme, the term comes from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto both meaning little song, or little sound and traditionally its subject matter was love. There are three variations most commonly found in English, although there are others occasionally seen.
1• The English or Shakespearean Sonnet: a style of sonnet as used by …. Shakespeare, Although it’s named after Bill Shakespeare, this is merely due to the fact that he is considered its most famous practitioner and not due him introducing it. This was probably Thomas Wyatt in the early 16th century, though his were chiefly translations of Petrarch (more of him later) and it was down to the Earl of Surrey who gave it a rhyming meter and its structural division into quatrains, that has come to characterizes the typical English sonnet, with its rhyme scheme of - abab cdcd efef gg
Sonnet 18 (Part of the Fair Youth sequence).
- Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
- Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
- Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
- And summer's lease hath all too short a date,
- 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.
- 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.
2• Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet: a form of sonnet created by Giacomo da Lentini, head of the Sicilian school, it was rediscovered by Guittone d'Arezzo he took it to Tuscany, founding the Neo – Sicilian School, other Italians Poets that favoured this style was Dante Alighieri & Guido Cavalcanti. But the reason it’s known in English is down to Petrarca, commonly known in English as Petrarch -an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often referred to as the "Father of Humanism. This style was also used by the likes of John Milton, Thomas Gray,William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In the early twentieth-century American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay also wrote most of her sonnets using this form. Its rhyme scheme is - abbaabba cdecde or cdcdcd
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
3• Spenserian Sonnet is a variant of the Shakespearean form in which the quatrains are linked with a chain or interlocked rhyme scheme, abab bcbc cdcd ee.
This was named after Edmund Spenser the form is treated as three quatrains connected by the interlocking rhyme scheme and then followed by a couplet.
Our Spring's Release
Until these snow drenched groves step out from shade,
Where deeper cast they find descent to dread,
The earth, from red to white, whose winds have made
Like near a tomb, shall lie while warmth lies dead.
And sleeping blooms ere lost will find their bed,
Where hopes of yearned and yet yearned love still lay,
And rested love may stir to raise her head
So soon recall her place and fly away.
These winds will never heal by Winter's sway,
But call the sun to beg for her bright hand,
That flowers laugh aloud while rivers play,
And life may soon make claim to lifeless land.
So longing light the world grows darker then -
But destined to release our Spring again...
Apart from these well known forms there are others, like the Occitan of which the sole confirmed surviving sonnet in the Occitan language is dated to 1284, and is conserved only in a troubadour manuscript. also there’s Caudate sonnet, Curtal sonnet, Pushkin sonnet, and the Brazilian sonnet and With the advent of free verse, the sonnet has become to be seen as somewhat old-fashioned, although this has not stopped it being used by poets such as Wilfred Owen, John Berryman, George Meredith, Edwin Morgan, Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke, George Sterling, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Federico García Lorca, E.E. Cummings, Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, Robert Lowell, Joan Brossa, Vikram Seth, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jan Kal, Ernest Hilbert, Kim Addonizio, and Seamus Heaney
Just to finish this post I thought I would mention The Sonnet Sequence, a series of sonnets in which there is a discernable unifying theme, while each
retains its own structural independence. All of Shakespeare’s sonnets, for example, were part of a sequence,
Not if you crawled from there to here, you hear?
Not if you begged me, on your bleeding Knees.
Not if you lay exhausted at my door,
and pleaded with me for a chance.
Not if you wept (am I making this clear?)
or found a thousand different words for “Please”
ten thousand for “I’m sorry”, I’d ignore
you so sublimely; every new advance
would meet with such complete indifference.
Not if you promised me fidelity.
not if you meant it. What impertinence,
then, is this voice that murmurs, “ What if he
didn’t? That isn’t his line of attack.
What if he simply grinned, and said, I’m back?”
If you have a Poem/ Poet, you admire please introduce them to me.