Literary Terms (Poetry)

Terms in this set (77)

Italian Sonnet can be distinguished by its bipartite division into the octave & the sestet: the octave consisting of a first division of 8 lines rhyming: abbaabba

and the sestet (second division) consists of 6 rhyming lines: cdecde, cdccdc, cdedce

The Octave can present the problem, narrative, or states a proposition & the Sestet drives home the narrative by making an abstract comment, applies the proposition, or solves the problem.

Essential meter: iambic pentameter

Very strict with forms. Strict practice suggests that the sestet should not end with a rhyming couplet (dd or ee). Typically, a change from one rhyming group to the next group signifies a change in subject matter & this change is called a volta or turn. At the turn, the second idea of the poem is introduced, making the turn perhaps the essential element of the sonnet.

EX: Sonnet LXXI by Sir Philip Sidney
"Sonnet LXXI," Sir Philip Sidney
Who will in fairest book of Nature know
How Virtue may best lodged in Beauty be,
Let him but learn of Love to read in thee,
Stella, those fair lines, which true goodness show.
There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
And not content to be Perfection's heir
Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.
So while thy beauty draws the heart to love,
As fast thy Virtue bends that love to good.
"But, ah," Desire still cries, "give me some food."
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