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Sonnet XXXV Analysis

Author: Poetry of Edmund Spenser Type: Poetry Views: 285

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MY hungry eyes through greedy couetize,

still to behold the obiect of their paine:

with no contentment can themselues suffize,

but hauing pine and hauing not complaine.

For lacking it they cannot lyfe sustayne,

and hauing it they gaze on it the more:

in their amazement lyke Narcissus vaine

whose eyes him staru'd: so plenty makes me poore

Yet are mine eyes so filled with the store

of that faire sight, that nothing else they brooke,

but lothe the things which they did like before,

and can no more endure on them to looke.

All this worlds glory seemeth vayne to me,

and all their showes but shadowes sauing she.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Analysis :
The alliteration found throughout the poem gives audible lift and deflation that coincides with the poet's mood. In the first part of the poem, when he talks about feeling like a ship in a storm, he uses words like "darkness...dismay", "perils...plast" (7-8).
The repeated "ds" and "ps" consonant sounds together create a deflating sound, like air escaping a balloon. This sound compliments the sense of depression the poet is trying to create. At the turn in the poem, the alliteration changes to a repeated "l" sound in words such as x light...clear...cloudy" This repeated sound suggests the love that he feels, and gives a feeling that suggest lightness and hope. It gives a bounce to the words. In the final couplet, words such as x sorrow...sad pensivenesse" create again a subtle sense of deflating, with the repeated "c" and "s" sounds. It returns the reader to the poet's current sad mood.
Edmund Spencer's newfound love for his second wife shines through his interpretation of Petrarch's lyric. His expert use of alliteration gives the reader the feelings of the lift and fall of his own moods through his choice of words. His prevailing sense of sadness, instead of leading to Petrarch's and Wyatt's panic and despair, is broken by the hope that he feels in the steadiness of his wife's love and support. He finds himself content to wait for the storm of his mood to subside in time, knowing that she will be there for him when it does.
Written by : Alaa Cali4nia Boy

| Posted on 2009-07-28 | by a guest

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The Best Analysis :
Depression and love are mediums in which poets freely swim, and Edmund Spencer is no exception. Still, in his interpretation of Petrarch's Rima 189, which became Sonnet 34 of his Amoretti (a collection of poems written after his marriage to his second wife at the age of 56), Edmund Spencer is too much in love with his wife to swim in depression's deepest waters. He has lived long enough to know that things will turn around and that his love for his wife will bring joy to him again before long. He expresses his feelings through words and even through skillfully placed consonant sounds.
Edmund Spencer clearly links himself to the main metaphor of the poem, which is a ship lost at sea during a storm. He is "overcast...in darkness and dismay, [with] hidden perils round about me [placed]." (6-8). The star hidden in the storm that guides his way in more peaceful times,he personifies in his wife. The storm the ship is battling symbolizes the depression that he is feeling. The combined metaphorical picture gives the reader the feeling that for some reason, he is bobbing like a cork, with no direction and no control.
At the turn in the poem, there is a major departure from the original source material that is very telling. Both Petrarch's original poem and Sir Thomas Wyatt's version just soak themselves in misery and despair. They speak of the rough waters, and rocks everywhere, and internal weakness in the ship, and of being tortured and sabotaged by their thoughts. Their reason is "dead among the waves" (Petrarch Rima 189, modern prose translation) and they feel that all of this will never end. In contrast, Spencer's poem goes into none of this detail. There is merely a hint of "hidden perils" and light that "with cloudes is overcast" (7, 9). He is not overcome in the same way, and we soon find out why.
In his mind, he leaves the scene at the turn and his rational side seems to emerge. Expectation that joy will come again in the midst of depression is apparent when he speaks of the star that he cannot currently see. His "Helice, the lodestar of my lyfe will shine again" (11). This storm, to Spencer, is only one of many emotional storms. He's had them before, and he knows that it will eventually lift and clear, and he will once again feel the "lovely light" (12) from the love that he has for his wife, and the confidence he has in her love for him.
The turning phrase "yet hope I well" (9) occurs in the middle from the poet's mood, to the poet's reason, and back to darker moods again with "till then" (12) in the last couplet. This suggests that he has no intention of forcing himself to feel something he does not, but that he is content to wait until his feelings change. His "sad pensivenesse" (14) suggests that there is no concrete problem that his depression is tied to, and he knows that. This outside reason showing through his emotional mood indicates to the reader that he is perhaps a more experienced man, and has gone through moods such as this before. He is aware that this is his pattern.
Written by : Alaa Cali4nia Boy

| Posted on 2009-07-28 | by a guest

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