Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sonnets again

A sonnet might look dinky, but it was somehow big enough to accommodate love, war, death, and O.J. Simpson. You could fit the whole world in there if you shoved hard enough.
~Anne Fadiman

Someone who carries a wee copy of Shakespeare's sonnets with him and has your favorite one (nearly) memorized? It's enough to win Kate Winslet's heart:

William Wordsworth in defense of form poems generally, and sonnets specifically:

NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850

NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room,
And hermits are contented with their cells,
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest peak of Furness fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison unto which we doom
Ourselves no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.


Why did I call this "Sonnets again"? I also posted sonnets by Michelangelo, Shakespeare's sonnets in Chinese and in an app and sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Raincity Librarian has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jane!


jama said...

Thanks for this celebration of sonnets, Tabatha. I was reminded of studying them in college English classes, and thinking how limiting they were. But when I made a serious study of Shakespeare's sonnets in grad school, I finally saw the form's true possibilities. Love the S&S video :). I just happen to have a wee book of S's sonnets too. Do you think Mr Firth as any of them memorized?

Tara said...

Oh my, I do love that Trevor Nunn piece - I learned about acting, yes, but about the sonnets more. I always learn so much from you, Tabatha.

Kay said...

Yes, this is quite a celebration of sonnets. I love the Wordsworth one. I do like reading sonnets, but I'm still intimidated by the thought of trying to write one. One day, one day....

Linda B said...

I often feel so satisfied with a sonnet, perhaps because many who write them are accomplished and the writing is sublime. Thanks for all, Tabatha. I like Wordsworth, and his breadth of work. This one, enamored of so many restrictions, is terrific.

Sally Murphy said...

So heard to write, which is what makes them such masterpieces when written well. Thanks for celebrating the sonnet!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Ah, the sonnet, I know it, love it, hate it, return to it. It's ancestor and descendent all at once. Some great ones here.

Ruth said...

What a great post! I love sonnets.

Michelle Kogan said...

I like the idea of finding solace in the words of a sonnet, as Wordsworth has penned his. Such rhythm he has created here. The Sonnet David Suchet reads–saying it's captivating would be an understatement. What a wonderful exchange created between Suchet and Trevor Nunn, and then Suchet's words. Thanks for this rich collection of sonnets in all forms Tabatha!

Anonymous said...

The first sonnet(s) I wrote almost tied my brain in knots, with their syncopated rhythms! They weren't at all natural, for me. And now I read the NUNS sonnet with its clever use of enjambment and am in awe. Am I ready for another brain tangling sonnet wrangling?

Robyn Hood Black said...

I do love me some good sonnets. Thanks so much for this bounty, Tabatha!