Wordsworth once said of the sonnet that he hoped that those "[w]ho have felt the weight of too much liberty,/Should find such brief solace there, as I have found." Sonnet Central offers a copious library of sonnets, mainly in the Anglo-American tradition but with examples from around the world. Those who wish to explore further in the sonnet's paradoxically expansive "scanty plot of ground" (Wordsworth again) may also wish to try Petrarch's Canzoniere
(complete set, Italian with English translations); Shakespeare's Sonnets
(self-described as "amazing"; the full cycle with glosses and paraphrases, plus illustrations and links to other poems); Golden Age Spanish Sonnets
(translations); Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets
(a reflection on the traditional sonnet sequence); George Meredith's Modern Love
(a bleaker revision of the sonnet sequence tradition, featuring sixteen-line "sonnets"); and an excerpt from John Hollander's Powers of Thirteen
(do the math and you'll see the experiment--it's an interesting modern sequence).
posted by thomas j wise
on Sep 24, 2003 -
Meet John Clare.
In 1832, he wrote to John Taylor, saying:
'in spite of every difficulty rhyme will come to the end of my pen -- when I am in trouble I go on & it gives me pleasure by resting my feelings of every burthen & when I am pleased it gives me extra gratification & so in spite of myself I rhyme on.'*
And John Clare knew difficulty
. Born to dirt poor farmers in 1793, he wrote his first poem at 13 and published his first book of poetry at 27. Yet he found himself committed to the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum by the age of 48. Why? It was determined that he suffered from too many "years addicted to poetical prosings."
A poet of the sonnet form, he has suffered from a lack of academic attention until just recently
. He does, however, have a society
in his name, and a John Clare conference
will be held in North America next year.
posted by grabbingsand
on Aug 11, 2002 -