The first type of sonnet was the Italian version, also known as the Petrarchan sonnet. The Italian sonnet is separated into two segments by two different clusters of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines are called the octave and it serves as the question. The remaining 6 lines are called the sestet. The sestet serves as the answer to the octave, or the question. Later we came to know the English version, or the Shakespearean version. The English sonnet differs from the Italian sonnet in the way is broken down. The English sonnet has four divisions, not two.
You will notice the breaks between the divisions. The first three parts are called the quatrain, and the last part is called the couplet. The couplet is an observation of the first three parts, or quatrains. I will be breaking down the aspects of a sonnet. We will discuss the theme, the language usage, and the metaphorical references that are found within the sonnet that I have chosen. It was a tough decision, but the sonnet I chose to discuss is “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning [1806 – 1861] Here is the sonnet:
The first aspect we will tackle is the theme. Common themes can be related to love, death, war, and others. The obvious theme in the chosen sonnet is love and the sonneteer’s feelings towards her husband to be, Robert Browning. It is a beautiful sonnet and shows just how intense her love is for her partner. The second aspect we will discuss is the use of language in the sonnet, or figures of speech. You will regularly see the use of metaphors, similes, personifications and irony in sonnets.
An example of a metaphor in this sonnet is when the author states “I love thee freely, as men strive for Right” she is comparing the depth of her love with the passion a man can feel when he is defending his rights and beliefs. On the very next line, the author uses simile by stating that “I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise”. She is sizing up her love with her faith, or religion. Lastly, I believe that the author displays personification when she writes that “the ends of Being and ideal Grace" she is personifying her love with life and religion.
It is the main theme that pops from the sonnet. By and large, the sonnet is just a beautiful work that expresses extremely deep and intense feelings about love for another person. I will be discussing the importance of word usage in poem. The poem I chose to discuss is “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet [c. 1612 – 1672]. Word choice in a poem is the one key aspect to get the message across in a poem. I admit that there are some poems that you have to read over and over again to begin to get an idea of what the author is talking about.
Anne Bradstreet created a lovely tribute to the husband and she is expressing just how deep and intense her love is for her partner. By using words that really bring home the powerful sentiments, the reader can comprehend almost immediately what the author is expressing. Bradstreet writes “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold”…. she is helping the reader understand how big her love is by making a comparison to a monetary concept. She also writes “My love is such that rivers cannot quench”…. here she is making a comparison of the extreme love she feels for her husband with a physical thirst that not even a river can satisfy.
That statement is intense! Lastly, Bradstreet writes “Then while we live, in love let's so persevere…That when we live no more, we may live ever”…. Such is the adoration for her husband that she is expressing that their love will continue even in death. Using an effective word choice in a poem will make or break a poem. It is the wording that will help get the author’s point across to the reader. “Words are capable of creating beauty or ugliness, creating mood, creating imagery, sounds, and smells” (Taylor, M, 2006). After reading this poem over and over again, I can say that I feel the love that Bradstreet is expressing.
This is a great example of using the right words to get a point across. Whether you’re reading a poem or an epic novel, if you are not choosing the right words, you will not grab your readers.
References: Holman, B. Snyder, M. (2010). Sonnet. Retrieved from http://poetry. about. com/od/poeticforms/g/sonnet. htm Taylor, Marilyn. “Tips For Finding the Right Words. ” Writer 119. 12 (2006) Warn, E. (2010). Anne Bradstreet: “to my dear and loving husband”. Retrieved from http://www. poetryfoundation. org/learning/poem-guide. html? guide_id=238168