Poetry of Surrey and Wyatt; A comparison- Part II



Another notable lacking in the sonnets of Wyatt is the unnatural and forcible rhyming which makes his sonnets rather artificial and bring them out of harmony. It can be felt that most of the rhyming syllables have been inserted unintelligibly without a natural coherence among the preceding lines of his sonnets. Having said so, it cannot be denied that his sonnets, as regards to form and style, are still considered among the best sonnets in English poetry. The examples may include: "Was I never yet of your love grieved", "Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind...", and "Caesar, when that the traitor of Egypt"etc. In comparison to his sonnets, the love songs of Wyatt do carry a harmonious effect in the formation of rhyme which is melodious and appealing. For example:

"FORGET not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant;
My great travail so gladly spent,
Forget not yet!"

Conceit is yet another contribution of Sir Thomas Wyatt to English poetry. He translated and employed this literary feature from his Italian translations of Petrarch. This proved a vital contribution because it did dominate the rest of English poetry ever to come. For instance in the below lines, he has attributed "baited hooks" to love:

"Farewell love and all thy laws forever;
Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more."

The poet is a disappointed lover who would rather surrender all his hopes of love by saying farewell to the cruel laws of love. However, the thought that love is like fishing bait which hooks one, is a far-fetched metaphor for the word and feeling of love.

Surrey, obviously building on from Wyatt, began a step ahead of him in the use of sonnet form in English poetry. He proved very influential in balancing the harmonious and melodious lyric of English sonnet which had not enlivened to the fullest under its pioneer Wyatt, in England. He deviated in the form of sonnet from Wyatt and stuck to Italian rhyme scheme of sonnet by introducing three quatrains and a couplet to end the sonnet. There seems a perfect harmony in succeeding syllables and there is melody in the sonnet unlike forcible yoking of the syllables in Wyatt's sonnets. For example in the sonnet: "Love that doth reign and live within my thought":

"Love that doth reign and live within my thought
And built his seat within my captive breast,
Clad in arms wherein with me he fought,
Oft in my face he doth his banner rest."
Read Part I...




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