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"Princeton, May, 1917"..
"Ode on the Centenary of Abraham Lincoln". . Percy MacKaye "The Call of the Bugles".
'O Glorious France".
"An Ode in Time of Hesitation".
"The Nightingale Unheard".
"Uriel" (In memory of William
Edgar Lee Masters
William Vaughn Moody
William Vaughn Moody
"Avenge, O Lord, Thy Slaughtered Saints".... Kipling
1 This is both an ode and an elegy.
Characteristics of the Sonnet. The sonnet is a lyric poem exactly fourteen lines in length. It produces only one emotional effect, but the lines are arranged in two sets, because two waves of thought are expressed. The first, consisting of eight lines, is called the octave. This gives the main thought or rising emotion. The second set, consisting of six lines, is called the sestet. This gives the falling emotion. There is usually this upward and downward movement in a sonnet. In the octave the emotion, question, problem, hope, desire, or whatever it may be, rises to its climax; and in the sestet it goes down to its conclusion. There is scarcely any variation allowed in the arrangement of the rhymes in the octave. Here there should be but two different rhyming words and these should be arranged abba abb a. In the sestet, however, greater liberty is given. There are usually three rhyming words, but they must be different from those used in the octave. Any combination of these rhymes may be made, excepting that the last two lines of a perfect sonnet, according to the original models, do not rhyme. Many writers of sonnets, however, have modified the rhyming plan to suit themselves. The regular meter of the sonnet is iambic pentameter.
Early Sonnets in England. The sonnet form was first used in Italy, and was introduced into English literature by Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey in the first part of the sixteenth century. This type, although quite difficult to write because of its exact rules, at once became popular. It was taken up by Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, and others of the Elizabethans. Shakespeare liked the sonnet so well that he wrote one hundred and fiftyfour of them. In structure his sonnets, however, differ in many particulars from those usually seen, although they show the two waves of feeling.2
1 The student should constantly be reminded that authors are not slaves to custom, and modifications are to be found everywhere, although, in general, a work shows the chief characteristics of the type with which it is classed.
2 The sonnets of Shakespeare differ so generally from those introduced into England from Italy, that they are commonly recognized as a distinct type of sonnet under the name of Shakespearian Sonnet.
Later Sonnet Writers.-Wordsworth is generally regarded as our greatest sonneteer. He wrote over four hundred of these poems, some of which have never been excelled. Other writers who have been especially successful with this form are Milton, Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Dante Rossetti.
Study of the Sonnet. In each of the following sonnets notice. the two waves of thought, and the rhyming-scheme in octave and sestet. See in what particulars the sonnets of Shakespeare differ from the others.
/ When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
For thy sweet love rememb'red, such wealth brings,
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
And with old woes now wail my dear time's waste;
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
MILTON'S SONNET ON HIS BLINDNESS
When I consider how my life is spent
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, 1802
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
LONDON, 1802 (TO MILTON)
Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
FROM "SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
I love thee to the level of every day's
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;
1 Balboa, not Cortez, discovered the Pacific Ocean.