Friday, November 30, 2007

Poetry Friday - The Sonnet

After struggling all week to write a sonnet, I needed some inspiration. Thanks to Libby for sharing this poem by William Wordsworth.
The Sonnet


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.


SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frown’d,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
   Shakespeare unlock’d his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch’s wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
   With it Camens sooth’d an exile’s grief;
   The Sonnet glitter’d a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crown’d
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
   It cheer’d mild Spenser, call’d from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
   Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!

The round-up this week is over at Two Writing Teachers. Please stop by and check out all the great posts. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. Never fear too much liberty :)
    I love these...

  2. Ah, Wordsworth, not Coleridge! Glad you tracked them down...

  3. Hah! -- "scorn not the sonnet!" I think I'm still on terror and denial, haven't yet made it to scorn...!

  4. Thanks for these. It has been a LONG time since I last read them. Very inspirational!

  5. Oh happy confinement! Thanks, Tricia, I love this one.

  6. Thanks for posting these Trisha - very inspiring! I'm working on one or two...

  7. Wordsworth is wonderful. Can't wait for your sonnet!

  8. I love "Scorn not the sonnet," which I posted myself a while back. The first one was new to me (or forgotten, at least). I'm so glad you shared them both!