Allie asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What are the most important collections of English Petrarchan sonnets?

or If you know any page that I can find information about it?

Thank you very much!

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Verbatim from Wikipedia -

    The Italian sonnet (coinvented by Giacomo da Lentini, head of the Sicilian School under Frederick II). Guittone d'Arezzo rediscovered it and brought it to Tuscany where he adapted it to his language when he founded the Neo-Sicilian School (1235–1294). He wrote almost 300 sonnets. Other Italian poets of the time, including Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) and Guido Cavalcanti (c. 1250–1300) wrote sonnets, but the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarca (known in English as Petrarch).

    The Italian sonnet comprises two parts. First, the octave (two quatrains), which describe a problem, followed by a sestet (two tercets), which gives the resolution to it. Typically, the ninth line creates a "turn" or volta which signals the move from proposition to resolution. Even in sonnets that don't strictly follow the problem/resolution structure, the ninth line still often marks a "turn" by signalling a change in the tone, mood, or stance of the poem.

    In the sonnets of Giacomo da Lentini, the octave rhymed a-b-a-b, a-b-a-b; later, the a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a pattern became the standard for Italian Sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities, c-d-e-c-d-e and c-d-c-c-d-c. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced such as c-d-c-d-c-d.

    The first known sonnets in English, written by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, used this Italian scheme, as did sonnets by later English poets including John Milton, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

    This example, On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty-three by John Milton, gives a sense of the Italian Form:

    How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, (a)

    Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year! (b)

    My hasting days fly on with full career, (b)

    But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. (a)

    Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth (a)

    That I to manhood am arriv'd so near; (b)

    And inward ripeness doth much less appear, (b)

    That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th. (a)

    Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow, (c)

    It shall be still in strictest measure ev'n (d)

    To that same lot, however mean or high, (e)

    Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heav'n: (d)

    All is, if I have grace to use it so (c)

    As ever in my great Task-Master's eye. (e)

    here are the links to more web pages :

    Source(s): I'm Italian
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