Edgar Allan Poe and the Sonnet Form - David-glen Allan Poe and the Sonnet Form. 2 Sonnet Form ... The remaining lines of the sonnet introduce a confusing character: ... 18 Sonnet Form 01.02.12 | ...

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  • 101.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Edgar Allan Poe and the Sonnet Form

  • 2

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Historical Overview

    evolvedovercenturies;enduredforover700years

    originallydevisedasalyric,developedinsouthernFrance,northernItaly

    creationandtraditionallyattributedtoFrancescoPetrarch,

    (July20,1304July19,1374)theFatherofHumanism

    howeveritisclearhepopularizedtheformduringhislifetime

    Sonnet Defined

    Thesonnetisapoemcomposedwitharecognizedformula

    andisconcernedwithasinglethoughtortheme,andmayhavea

    secondarytheme.

    ThetermmeanslittlesonginItalian

  • 3

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Types of Sonnets

    Becauseofitspopularity,thepoemhastransformedovertime,retaining

    importantcategorizingelements,yetmetamorphosingsomecomponents.

    Common forms:

    Italiansonnet >orPetrarchansonnet

    Englishsonnet >orShakesperiansonnet

    Spenseriansonnet

    Blanksonnet >orafree-versesonnet

  • 4

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Basic Characteristics of Traditional Sonnet

    fourteenlines

    chosenrhymeschemeandstrategicmeter

    aturnorshiftintheme(referredtoasthevolta)

    Important Terms

    octave eightlines ||Forsonnetsthefirsteightlinescarryatheme.

    sestet sixlines ||Theremainingsixlinescantwistthetheme.

    tercet threelines

    quatrain fourlines

    couplet twolines

  • 5

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Charles Simic || History

    Onagrayevening

    Ofagraycentury,

    Iateanapple

    Whilenoonewaslooking.

    Asmall,sourapple

    Thecolorofwoodfire,

    WhichIfirstwiped

    Onmysleeve. 8

    ThenIstretchedmylegs

    Asfarastheydgo,

    Saidtomyself

    Whynotclosemyeyesnow

    BeforetheLate

    WorldNewsandWeather. 14

    }

    }

    octave: in this case composed of two quatrains

    sestet:in this case composed of a quatrain and a couplet

    Simic,Charles.History.The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. EdwardHirschandEavanBoland,eds.NewYork:W.W.Norton.2008.Print.

  • 6

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Boththeoctaveandthesestetcontainparallelthemes,

    ortwostorieswhicharerelatedtooneanother.

    Typicallytheoctavepresentsasituation,event,image,orgeneralization

    andthesestetpresentsareflectionormeditationontheprevioussection,

    areaction,oraresult.

    To simplify, these poems can appear, when poorly written, over-dramatic,

    pathos driven, scenes filled with heaving bosoms, and self-centered whining.

    When well-crafted, the poems share a common story of lost love with the reader.

  • 7

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    The Italian Rhyme Scheme

    A A

    B B

    B A

    A B

    A A

    B B

    B A

    A B

    C C

    D D

    E C

    C C

    D D

    E C

    }

    }

    octave: in this case composed of two quatrains

    sestet:in this case composed of two tercets

  • 8

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    English or Shakespearean Sonnet

    TheEarlofSurrey,HenryHoward,inventedwhatisnowknownas

    theEnglishorShakespeareanSonnet.

    followsoctave+sestetformulaslightly

    allowsforthreesetsofquatrainswithindividualrhymes

    anindependentcouplet,whichservesasaneffectivemoraltothepoem

    traditionallyfollowsiambicpentameter

  • 9

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Henry Howard(151719January1547)

    Complaint of the Lover Disdained

    InCyprussprings,whereasDameVenusdwelt, A 5

    Awellsohot,thatwhosotastesthesame, B 5

    Wereheofstone,asthawediceshouldmelt, A 4.5

    Andkindledfindhisbreastwithfixedflame; B 4.5

    Whosemoistpoisondissolvedhathmyhate. C 4.5

    Thiscreepingfiremycoldlimbssoopprest, D 5

    Thatintheheartthatharbourdfreedom,late: C 5

    Endlessdespairlongthraldomhathimprest. D 5

    Anothersocoldinfrozeniceisfound, E 5.5

    Whosechillingvenomofrepugnantkind, F 5

    TheferventheatdothquenchofCupidswound, E 5

    Andwiththespotofchangeinfectsthemind; F 5

    Whereofmydearhathtastedtomypain: G 5

    Myservicethusisgrownintodisdain. G 5

    }

    }

    octave

    sestet

    Surrey,HenryHoward,Earlof.The Poetical Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Boston:Little,BrownandCompany,1854.Print.

    Rhyme scheme||Meter

  • 10

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Emund Spenser(15521599)

    fromAmoretti ||IX

    LongwhileIsoughttowhatImightcompare

    Thosepowerfuleyes,whichlightenmydarksight,

    YetfindInoughtonearthtowhichIdare

    Resemblethimageoftheirgoodlylight.

    Nottothesun,fortheydoshinebynight;

    Nortothemoon,fortheyarechangednever;

    Nortothestars,fortheyhavepurersight;

    Nortothefire,fortheyconsumenotever;

    (octave ends/sestet begins; Spenser blurs the two together)

    Nortothelightning,fortheystillpersever;

    Nortothediamond,fortheyaremoretender;

    Noruntocrystal,farnoughtmaythemsever;

    Noruntoglass,suchbasenessmightoffendher;

    ThentotheMakerselftheylikestbe,

    Whoselightdothlightenallthatherewesee.

    thesis: problem

    established

    problem discussed

    in following octave.

    problem resolved

    in couplet

    A

    B

    A

    B

    B

    C

    B

    C

    C

    D

    C

    D

    E

    E

    5

    5.5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5.5 /(6?)

    5.5

    5.5

    5.5

    5.5

    5

    5

    English Sixteenth-Century Verse: An Anthology.RichardS.Sylvester,ed.W.W.Norton&Co., NewYork,1974.Print.

    Rhyme scheme||Meter

  • 11

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    William Shakespeare(15641616)

    130

    Mymist/resseyes/arenoth/inglike/thesun;

    Coral/isfar/morered/thanher/lipsred;

    Ifsnow/bewhite,/whythen/herbreasts/aredun;

    Ifhairs/bewires,/blackwires/growon/herhead.

    Ihave/seenros/esda/mask,red/andwhite,

    ButnosuchrosesseeIinhercheeks;

    Andinsomeperfumesistheremoredelight

    Thaninthebreaththatfrommymistressreeks.

    Ilovetohearherspeak,yetwellIknow

    Thatmusichathafarmorepleasingsound;

    IgrantIneversawagoddessgo;

    Mymistress,whenshewalks,treadsontheground:

    Andyet,/byheav/en,I/thinkmy/loveas/rare

    Asan/yshe/belied/withfalse/compare.

    The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Non-Dramatic Poetry.SylvanBarnet,ed. SignetClassic,PenquinBooks,NewYork,1989.Print.

    problem resolved

    in couplet

    thesis: problem

    establishedand

    discussed in octave

    sestetshifts

    in tone, slightly

    A

    B

    A

    B

    C

    D

    C

    D

    E

    F

    E

    F

    G

    G

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5

    5.5

    5

    Rhyme scheme||Meter

  • 1201.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Sonnet Silence

    Edgar Allan Poe created his own experimental form.

    Inthiscase,hepurposelyde-constructedthetraditionalformulatodevelophis

    ownconcept.

    maintainsexpectediambicmeter, however

    uses15lines

    inventedanewrhymeschemetocompensateadditionalline

    heightenedthemeofduality

  • 1301.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Sonnet SilenceEdgar Allan Poe(January1809October1849)

    Sonnet Silence

    Therearesomequalitiessomeincorporatethings, A 6

    Thathaveadoublelife,whichthusismade B 5

    Atypeofthattwinentitywhichsprings A 5

    Frommatterandlight,evincedinsolidandshade. B 6

    Thereisatwo-foldSilenceseaandshore C 5

    Bodyandsoul.Onedwellsinlonelyplaces, D 5.5

    Newlywithgrassoergrown;somesolemngraces, D 5.5

    Somehumanmemoriesandtearfullore, C 5

    Renderhimterrorless:hisnamesNoMore. C 5

    HeisthecorporateSilence:dreadhimnot! E 5.5

    Nopowerhathheofevilinhimself; F 5.5

    Butshouldsomeurgentfate(untimelylot!) E 5

    Bringtheetomeethisshadow(namelesself, F 5

    Thathaunteththeloneregionswherehathtrod G 5

    Nofootofman)commendthyselftoGod! G 5

    Rhyme scheme||Meter

    incorporate:combinedinonebody(inthiscase:bodyandsoul)evince:toshowclearlycorporate:united;combined

    } quatrain} cinquain} sestet

  • 14

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    Notice Poe is playing off the notion that a conventional sonnet has

    two themes.

    Inhiscasehecreatesatwo-headedconvolutedthemeregardingthe

    multipletypesofsilence:

    basicdefinitionofsilence:withoutsound

    silenceofisolationandloneliness

    silenceassociatedwiththelossofalovedone

    silenceofthebodyofthedeceased;ofagravesiteovertime

    Oneofhismanytricksinthiselusivestrategyistoshowthatjustasa

    traditionalsonnethastwothemes,apersoniscomposedofbodyandsoul,

    bodyandshadow,bodyandmind.

    Dualityisacommonoccurrenceintheuniverse.

  • 1501.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    MultipledualisticimageryexistsinSonnetSilence:

    incorporate(l1)

    doublelife(l2)

    twinentity(l3)

    matterandlife/solidandshade(l4)

    two-foldSilence/SeaandShore(l5)

    BodyandSoul(l6)

    grassandgraces(l7)

    memoriesandlore(l8)

    corporateSilence(l10)

    shadow(l13)

    Sonnet Silence

  • 1601.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    The opening quatrain establishes the main theme of the poem: Therearesomequalitiessomeincorporatethings, Thathaveadoublelife,whichthusismade Atypeofthattwinentitywhichsprings Frommatterandlight,evincedinsolidandshade.

    ManyformsofdualityexistinNature;theseareessentialtoestablish

    meaningtoourexistence.Toembellishthis,Poeusesthefollowingconcepts:

    Body Soul

    shore sea

    logic emotion/passion

    death life

    matter light

    solid shade

    Justashumanitysexistenceremainsconfusingandcontradictory,

    soarethethemesrunninginthepoem.

    Sonnet Silence

  • 1701.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    The remaining lines of the sonnet introduce a confusing character:

    theselinesrefertotheawkwardlynamedelement:NoMore

    thispersonificationisone(who)dwellsinlonelyplacesthatisagrave.

    thispersonified-elementisnottobefeared(renderedterrorless)byaperson

    >whohaswithsolemngraces

    >withpositivehumanmemories(non-animalistic)andlore(education)

    usuallyinterpretedasarepresentationofDeath,althoughsomepeopleargue

    itcouldbearepresentationofIsolationorDisconnectionfromSociety,

    whichinitselfisanotherformofdeath.

    Therealargumentsbeginwiththeremainingsymbolof

    hisshadow/namelesself,/Thathaunteththeloneregions

    Somerefertothisasarepresentationofimpulsesofgreedorillicitdesires.

    Ifthesefactorinthewakingself,oneshouldcommendoneselftoGod.

    Sonnet Silence

  • 18

    Sonnet Form

    01.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    By commending oneself to God the soul is guaranteed existence in

    union with the Divine element.

    ThegloomypersonawhichPoechoosestoemployreachesaprofoundresolution.

    Thelossofthemortalbodyshouldnotbemourned;thisisanaturalprocess

    oflife.WeallmustdieaccordingtoNature.

    However,hedoeswarnitisimportanttoavoidthedeathofthesoulitself.

    >Withasenseofreligion,thisisahell.

    >Withasenseofphilosophy,thisrepresentsalifewithoutdirection.

    Thisisahellishconditionofeternalsilence.

  • 1901.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    InFreudianlogic,thenamelesselfcouldbearepresentationforthelibido,

    anelementinthepersonalitywhichissexualinnatureandinfluencesthe

    unconsciousmind,andinpartcauseshumanstoreacttocircumstancesbased

    ondesiresratherthanlogic.

    EdgarAllanPoescollectionofworkprecedeandpredictthePsychoanalytic

    conceptsdiscoveredbySigmundFreud.Poespersonaeoftenappearmaniacal

    withoutbackgroundevidencesuppliedtothereadertoexplaintheirconflicts.

    Abranchofcriticsliketouseapsychoanalyticalapproachwhenexaminingthese

    poemsandstories.Inthismanner,adetailedcriticismcanrevealhiddendepths

    ofbehavioralmotivationsforsuchirrationalfigures.

    Sonnet Silence

  • 2001.02.12 || English 2327: American Literature I || D. Glen Smith, instructor

    The human mind is divided up into componentstheEgo,Superego,andId.

    Ego:theconsciousself,theIvoiceinyourhead;itdefinesand

    interpretsreality;isinfluencedbysocialforces.Itisformedatbirthand

    modifiesbehaviorbycontrollingimpulsesthatareunacceptablebysociety.

    Superego:theconsciousselfimagewhichmodifiesandinhibits

    instinct.Itadoptsstandardsofbehaviorfromsurroundings.

    Id:theunconscious;reservoirofinstinctualdesiresandhiddenmotivations.

    Controlledbythepleasureprinciple,thegratificationofdesires.

    Libido:thebasisformanyofFreudsunderstandingofhiddensymbols

    indreams,isaninfluentialportionoftheId.Thesedesiresoftenconflict

    withwhatsocietydictatesasnormal,polite,orcorrect.Somebelievea

    healthylibidoisimportant;otherssayitshouldalwaysberepressed.

    Freudian Concepts in Brief

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