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Sixty Invitations to the Sonnet

 
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Sixty Invitations to the Sonnet Reply with quote

The Sonnet is arguably the most perfect poetic form in the English language.

Attached are a set of 12 Sonnets:
Eight by William Shakespeare,
and one each by
William Wordsworth,
John Keats,
Percy Bysshe Shelley and
Gerard Manley Hopkins.

If printed on the two sides of an A4 sheet, the selection can be folded in three to form a card or paper leaflet.

On Saturday mornings in the Discovering Poetry group at Mandeville Place, we have enjoyed and benefited week after week from reading / speaking and reflecting upon these “Little Songs”.

They appear to meet perfectly Seamus Heaney’s requirement of poetry: “To be a source of truth and at the same time a vehicle for harmony”.



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Last edited by Alan Edward Roberts on Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:06 am; edited 8 times in total
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Change and the Present Moment Reply with quote

In the Sonnet form, Line Nine is where there is a Turning Point, or Volta (to use the original Italian term). Something shifts or changes.

In the Introduction to his selection of "101 Sonnets: From Shakespeare to Heaney" (Faber and Faber) contemporary musician, poet and poetry professor Don Paterson states that all the lines of a Sonnet are “instances of the present moment”.

He says that each iambic pentameter line takes about three second to read or speak and that our perception of the present moment equates to that length of time. Each line thus becomes a unit to be either forgotten or committed to memory.

Here are the Line Nines (or Turning Points) from the eight Shakespeare sonnets contained in the initial attachment to this topic:

Then the conceit of this inconstant stay

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising

Speak of the spring and foison of the year

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth

O, know, sweet love, I always write of you

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know


And here is a conclusion - the final two lines (and rhyming couplet) from Sonnet 29:

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


.
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject: A Second Invitation Reply with quote

This is a good day on which to read a sonnet: On the day on which is marked both the birth of William Shakespeare, and the feast of St George, patron saint of England, here is a second selection of 12 English language sonnets.

Six of the sonnets are by Shakespeare,
and one each by
John Donne,
George Herbert,
John Milton,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and
Christina Rosetti.

"All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me."
William Shakespeare



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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: A Third Invitation Reply with quote

Here is a third selection of 12 sonnets.

Six of the sonnets are by Shakespeare,
and one each by
Sir Philip Sydney,
John Donne,
George Herbert,
William Wordsworth,
Emily Dickinson and
William Butler Yeats.

The Emily Dickinson poem ("I read my sentence steadily") sits happily in this company, but is not always presented in 14-line form, while the W.B. Yeats poem ("That crazed girl improvising her music") freely improvises on the received traditions - leaving open the questions “When is a Little Song not a Little Song?”, and "What, in its essence, is a sonnet?"



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Last edited by Alan Edward Roberts on Fri May 16, 2014 6:35 am; edited 4 times in total
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:46 am    Post subject: An Anniversary Invitation Reply with quote

At the beginning of the year in which the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare is being marked, here is a fourth selection of 12 sonnets.

Four of the sonnets are by Shakespeare;
four by his contemporaries
Edmund Spenser,
Michael Drayton and
George Herbert,
and
four by their nineteenth-century successors,
John Clare,
Robert Southey and
Alfred Tennyson.

"Dark is the world, where your light shined never;
Well is he born, that may behold you ever"
Edmund Spenser


"Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing"
William Shakespeare



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Last edited by Alan Edward Roberts on Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Autumn Study Reply with quote

Here is a fifth selection of 12 sonnets. These sonnets will form part of the study for the autumn term of Discovering Poetry, itself part of the Horizons Saturday Studies programme at Mandeville Place.

Six of the sonnets are by Shakespeare, including one taken from Act One Scene Five of Romeo and Juliet.

The other six sonnets are by
George Chapman,
George Herbert,
John Milton,
Charlotte Smith,
John Clare and
Christina Rosetti.



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