Wyatt, Surrey and the English sonnet tradition

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Wyatt, Surrey and the English sonnet tradition. Carlo M. Bajetta Universita ' della Valled'Aosta - Universit dela Valle d'Aoste. What do these two have in common?. Lady Gaga performing at the Toronto stop of The Monster Ball Tour on March 12, 2011 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Wyatt, Surrey and the English sonnet traditionCarlo M. BajettaUniversita'dellaValled'Aosta - UniversitdelaValled'Aoste

  • What do these two have in common? Lady Gaga performing at the Toronto stop of The Monster Ball Tour on March 12, 2011Source - talktomegaga Author Gn!pGnop Sir Thomas Wyatt by Hans Holbein the Younger, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

  • Why is she called Gaga? Influenced by David Bowie,Michael Jackson,Madonna andQueen.

    She took her name from their hit song Radio Gaga (wr. By Roger Taylor)

  • Influence rocks! (and rocked)Both Gaga and Sir Thomas Wyatt were influenced by some other authors

    Influence is at work in our time as much as it was in the Renaissance even if with some important differences

  • Influence then and now

    Today we look for originality (even if we seem much into remakes)

    In the Renaissance originality was not a problem. Starting from a well-know model was a key element in literature, and especially in poetry.

  • Inventio, imitation and experience Starting from a well-know model > classical rhetoric stressed that invenire, finding, such a good model was the first step to write, for example, a good speech, a good essay, or a good poem

    Inventio (with dispositio,elocutio,memoria, andpronuntiatio) was crucial to ones own literary creation But what about ones personal experience, (facts, feelings, sensations) ?

  • Experience Madam, withouten many words Once I am sure ye will or no And if ye will, then leave your bourds* *jokes And use your wit and show it so, And with a beck* ye shall me call; *beckoning gesture And if of one that burneth alway Ye have any pity at all, Answer him fair with yea or nay. If it be yea, I shall be fain; If it be nay, friends as before; Ye shall another man obtain, And I mine own and yours no more.

    Apparently a true-to-life poem with a clear message

  • Personal experience?

    Madonna non so dir tante paroleo uoi uolet' o no se uoi uoleteoprat' al gran bisogn' il uostro sennoche uoi saret' intesa per un cenno& se d' un che semp' arde al fin ui duoleun bel si un bel no mi rispondetese sar' un si un si scriuero 'n rimase sar' un no amici come primauoi trouerret' un' altr' amante & ioNon potend' esser uostro sar[] mio

    Dragonetto Bonifacio, (from Le Dotte, et Eccellente Compositioni de i Madrigalli ... a Cinque Voci, 1549, p. 16).

  • So inventio rocks!!! This poem appears realistic and unaffected, very direct - perhaps much more than a description of ones one (bad? painful? disappointing?) real experience.Still, it is a almost a translation (did you note the differences? See e.g. se sar' un si un si scriuero 'n rima / If it be yea, I shall be fain)in Renaissance terms, it is an imitation, a sort of competition with the original.

  • Finally, a sonnet!Who so list to hounte I know where is an hynde;But as for me, helas, I may no more:The wayne travaill hath weried me so sore,I ame of theim that farthest cometh behinde;Yet I by no meanes my weried mynde Drawe from the Diere; but as she fleeth aforeFaynting I folowe; I leve of therefore,Sithens in a nett I seke to hold the wynde,Who list her hount I put him owte of dowbte,As well as I may spend his tyme in vain:And graven with Diamondes in letters plainThere is written her faier neck rounde abowte:Noli me tangere for Cesars I ame,And wylde for to hold though I seme tame.

    (Text from Tottels Miscellany, 1557)

  • Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)Educated at Cambridge; court service since 1516 - Probably intimate with Henry (NB: hunting together?)Married by 1520, soon separated from his wife, whom he accused of adulteryRomantic involvement with Anne Boleyn At the time of Boleyns fall in 1536, imprisonedReleased & restored to favour, but imprisoned again after the execution of his patron, Thomas Cromwell (1540)Released and restored to court service ambassador to Charles VDies of a fever on a diplomatic mission (on his way to Falmouth, England, to greet the emperors ambassador).

  • O Dear, O DeerWho so list to hounte I know where is an hynde;But as for me, helas, I may no more:The wayne travaill hath weried me so sore,I ame of theim that farthest cometh behinde;Yet I by no meanes my weried mynde Drawe from the Diere; but as she fleeth aforeFaynting I folowe; I leve of therefore,Sithens in a nett I seke to hold the wynde,Who list her hount I put him owte of dowbte,As well as I may spend his tyme in vain:And graven with Diamondes in letters plainThere is written her faier neck rounde abowte:Noli me tangere for Cesars I ame,And wylde for to hold though I seme tame.

    Una candida cerva sopra l'erbaverde m'apparve, con duo corna d'oro,fra due riviere, all'ombra d'un alloro,levando 'l sole a la stagione acerba.Era sua vista s dolce superba,ch'i' lasciai per seguirla ogni lavoro:come l'avaro che 'n cercar tesorocon diletto l'affanno disacerba.Nessun mi tocchi - al bel collo d'intornoscritto avea di diamanti et di topazi - :libera farmi al mio Cesare parve.Et era 'l sol gi vlto al mezzo giorno,gli occhi miei stanchi di mirar, non sazi,quand'io caddi ne l'acqua, et ella sparve.

    Pertarch, Canzoniere (Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta), no. 190

  • Caesar???Fra Angelico [Beato Angelico], (Guido di Pietro) (c. 1400-55). Noli Me Tangere 1440-41 (190 Kb); Fresco, 180 x 146 cm; Cell 1, Convent of San Marco, Florence

  • Dear DeerIn rete accolgo l'aura, e 'n ghiaccio i fiori, Petrarch RVF, 239 (NB: not a sonnet)

    Etsi multa non querenti obveniant quis enim amicitiarum commoda atque oblectationes enumeret? , caritas tamen stimulos non requirit, se se contenta est, ipsa sibi calcar et premium; siquid uberius obtigerit, non amicitie laus fuerit sed fortune. Sicut non melior piscator est sed fortunatior, cui in visceribus capti piscis iaspis inventa est, nec venator fuit melior qui avorum temporibus sub arthoa plaga, si tamen vera fama est, cervum torque aureo circa collum cepit, in quo, ut perhibent, vetustissimis literis scriptum erat Nemo me capiat quem Iulius Cesar liberum esse iussit.

    Petrarch, Familares, XVIII, 8.5

  • Read this againWho so list to hounte I know where is an hynde;But as for me, helas, I may no more:The wayne travaill hath weried me so sore,I ame of theim that farthest cometh behinde;Yet I by no meanes my weried mynde Drawe from the Diere; but as she fleeth aforeFaynting I folowe; I leve of therefore,Sithens in a nett I seke to hold the wynde,Who list her hount I put him owte of dowbte,As well as I may spend his tyme in vain:And graven with Diamondes in letters plainThere is written her faier neck rounde abowte:Noli me tangere for Cesars I ame,And wylde for to hold though I seme tame.

    (Text from Tottels Miscellany, 1557)

  • Who so list to hounteThe poem plays on a numebr of parallelisms, similes and oppositions, plus with multiple sources, e.g.: dear / deer + Caesar / religious overtonesInventio / real lifeTranslation but also traslatio of a real situation into a fictional realityContemplation / hunting

    Petrarchs sonnet is here assimilated, transformed:Erasmus (in England at various times 1499, 1500s, a friend of Henry VIIIs courtiers such as Lord Mountjoy and Sir Thomas More) used a metaphor for this, that of chewing, digesting

    Yes,of course there are many more...

  • Sonnet and form2 ways or reading this rhyme scheme:

    a) Petrarchan octave + sestet: ABBA ABBA CDD CEEb) Sonnet of the new English type: ABBA ABBA CDDC EEEmphasis on the last couplet, which is the only phrase not by the narrator (Noli me tangere for Cesars I ame, / And wylde for to hold though I seme tame.)

    The last quatrain, however, does not stand alone it hesitates between alternatives (Falconer, 2003: 182). But this is precisely the problem of the lover in such a complex situation...

    Poetic form can be in itself significant and Wyatt knew this... See the next poem here...

  • Running away from me??They fle from me that sometyme did me seke With naked fote stalking in my chambre. I have sene theim gentill tame and meke That nowe are wyld and do not remembre That sometyme they put theimself in daunger To take bred at my hand ; and nowe they raunge Besely seking with a continuell chaunge .

    Thancked be fortune, it hath ben othrewise Twenty tymes better ; but ons in speciall In thyn arraye after a pleasaunt gyse When her lose gowne from her shoulders did fall, And she me caught in her armes long and small ; Therewithall swetely did me kysse, And softely saide 'dere hert, howe like you this? '

    It was no dreme: I lay brode waking. But all is torned thorough my gentilnes Into a straunge fasshion of forsaking; And I have leve to goo of her goodenes, And she also to vse new fangilnes. But syns that I so kyndely ame serued, I would fain knowe what she hath deserued.

  • Running away from me??Aestus erat, mediamque dies exegerat horam; adposui medio membra levanda toro. pars adaperta fuit, pars altera clausa fenestrae; quale fere silvae lumen habere solent, qualia sublucent fugiente crepuscula Phoebo,5 aut ubi nox abiit, nec tamen orta dies. illa verecundis lux est praebenda puellis, qua timidus latebras speret habere pudor. ecce, Corinna venit, tunica velata recincta, candida dividua colla tegente coma10 qualiter in thalamos famosa Semiramis isse dicitur, et multis Lais amata viris. Deripui tunicamnec multum rara nocebat; pugnabat tunica sed tamen illa tegi. quae cum ita pugnaret, tamquam quae vincere nollet,15 victa est non aegre proditione sua. ut stetit ante oculos posito velamine nostros, in toto nusquam corpore menda fuit. quos umeros, quales vidi tetigique lacertos! forma papillarum quam fuit apta premi!20 quam castigato planus sub pectore venter! quantum et quale latus! quam iuvenale femur! Singula quid referam? nil non laudabile vidi et nudam pressi corpus ad usque meum. Cetera quis nescit? lassi requievimus ambo.25 proveniant medii sic mihi saepe dies! (Ovid, Amores I, 5) Need a Translation ?

  • Ovid, Amores I, 5Then comes Corinna with her tunic unbelted, her hair spilling to either side of her white neck. [] I tugged at her tunic. It was so thin that it hid little, but nevertheless she struggled to keep it on. Protesting like one who doesn't really want to be listened to, she finally surrendered the garment not unhappily. [] But why do I describe individual beauties? I saw nothing that was not worthy of praise, and I pressed her naked body to mine

    http://david-drake.com/ovid/amoresI-4.html (NB: careful with this translation)

  • They flee from me3 x n stanzas = essential, basic, form of a ballad

    a ballad tells a story

    (PS: this will be what the Romantic ballad is meant to do remember Coleridges Therime of the ancient mariner ? It is no coincidence the title has an archaic spelling) They fle from me that sometyme did me seke With naked fote stalking in my chambre. I have sene theim gentill tame and meke That nowe are wyld and do not remembre That sometyme they put theimself in daunger To take bred at my hand

  • Sonnets and poetic formForm is an integral part of poetic meaning it is a choice on the part of the author.Going back to Whoso list to hunt, one may at this stage realize that choosing the sonnet form is for Wyatt is a way to transform his dangerous contents into an example of otium, an elegant cultural exercise. It is a way to discuss his theme within a lyric framework, to claim that this is a fictional story, not reality. Still, a sonnet is, above all, a love poem... So... Qui habet auresaudiendi audiat!

  • Sonnets and poetic formThis is, however, not always easy and it can be a rather dangerous game, especially if your king happens to be as nice-tempered as Henry VIII...

    Let us see how Wyatt and his fellow courtier poet did to one of Petrarchs poems, Amor, che nel penser mio vive et regna, (RVF, 140)

  • The longe love, that in my thought doeth harbarAnd in myn hert doeth kepe his residence,Into my face preseth with bolde pretence,And therin campeth, spreding his baner.She that me lerneth to love and suffre,And willes that my trust and lustes negligenceBe rayned by reason, shame and reverence, With his hardines taketh displeasur.Wherewithall, vnto the hertes forrest he fleith,Leving his entreprise with payn and cry;And ther him hideth, and not appereth.What may I do when my maister ferethBut in the feld with him to lyve and dye?For goode is the liff, ending faithfully.

    Amor, che nel penser mio vive et regnae 'l suo seggio maggior nel mio cor tene,talor armato ne la fronte vne,ivi si loca, et ivi pon sua insegna.Quella ch'amare et sofferir ne 'nsegnae vl che 'l gran desio, l'accesa spene,ragion, vergogna et reverenza affrene,di nostro ardir fra se stessa si sdegna.Onde Amor paventoso fugge al core,lasciando ogni sua impresa, et piange, et trema;ivi s'asconde, et non appar pi fore.Che poss'io far, temendo il mio signore,se non star seco infin a l'ora extrema?Ch bel fin fa chi ben amando more.

    Wyatt (from Tottels miscellany) Petrarch, RVF 140

  • Love that doth raine and liue within my thought, And buylt his seat within my captyve brest, Clad in the armes wherein with me he fowght, Oft in my face he doth his banner rest. But she that tawght me love and suffre paine, My doubtful hope & eke my hote desire With shamfast looke to shadoo and refrayne, Her smyling grace convertyth streight to yre. And cowarde Love, then, to the hart apace Taketh his flight, where he doth lurke and playne His purpose lost, and dare not shew his face. For my lordes gilt thus fawtles byde I payine; Yet from my lorde shall not my foote remove: Sweet is the death that taketh end by love.

    Amor, che nel penser mio vive et regnae 'l suo seggio maggior nel mio cor tene,talor armato ne la fronte vne,ivi si loca, et ivi pon sua insegna.Quella ch'amare et sofferir ne 'nsegnae vl che 'l gran desio, l'accesa spene,ragion, vergogna et reverenza affrene,di nostro ardir fra se stessa si sdegna.Onde Amor paventoso fugge al core,lasciando ogni sua impresa, et piange, et trema;ivi s'asconde, et non appar pi fore.Che poss'io far, temendo il mio signore,se non star seco infin a l'ora extrema?Ch bel fin fa chi ben amando more.

    Surrrey (from Tottels miscellany) Petrarch, RVF 140

  • Surrey 1517-1547Member of one of the most important families in England - son of the Duke of Norfolk.Close companion of Herny VIII illegittimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of RichmondInvolved in dangerous political maneuvering An alteration in his coat of arms was interpreted (quite correctly) as a claim of royal descent Tried for trason(cf. Braden 2005: 66)

  • Rhyme schemePetrarch: octave + sestet: abba abba cdc cdc

    Wyatt: abba abba cdc cdd

    Surrey: abab cdcd efef gg

    (yes, it is a Shakespearean sonnet mmm did Will really invent it?)

  • IncidentallyPoetic competition? Not necessarily, but one has to remember the circulation of poetry collections such as the Devonshire MS...

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