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Spencer's sonnets

Spencer was the most famous poet. He wrote a collection of poems (88) called "Amoretti": he speaks about his love for Elisabeth Boil, from the period between the first moment he met his woman, until the moment they got married (corteggiamento: courtship). He was considered "the poet's poet".

SONNET XV = Ye tradeful merchants, that with weary toil
Ye tradeful merchants, that with weary toil
do seek most precious things to make your gain,
and both the Indias of their treasures spoil,
what needeth you to seek so far in vain?
For loe my love doth in herself contain
all this world's riches that may far be found,
of Saphires, loe her eyes be saphires plain,
if Rubies, loe her lips be rubies sound:
if Pearls, her teeth be pearls both pure and round:
if Ivory, her forehead ivory ween;

if Gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
if silver, her fair hands are silver sheen.
But that which fairest is, but few behold,
her mind adorned with vertues manifold.

Rhyme: A B A B; B C B C; C D C D; E E
It's an Elizabethan sonnet. It's a dramatic sonnet (dialogue with merchant).
The rhyme scheme is linked (concatenata), quatrains are self-contained.
It's a typical Petrarcan sonnet. It's similar to "My mistress eyes", but Shakespeare is more original and personal.
Ye: you
tradeful: busy
weary toil: great effort
do seek: look for the…
make your gain: gave money
Indias: America
what needeth: why do you need
for: because
ween: pura
locks: ricci
on ground: sullo sfondo
1. First quatrain = merchants are wasting their time, looking for treasures so far away.
2. Second quatrain = explanation (why), because his love have all these treasures.
3. Third quatrain = describe his lover beauty.
4. Couplet = "turning point", his lover is the fairest and she has also a beautiful mind.
line 2: "most make" = alliteration
line 6: "far found" = alliteration
line 13: "fairest…few" = alliteration
3° quatrain: anaphora of "if"
Series of metaphors (rubies, gold, ivory, silver)

SONNET XXX = My love is like to ice, and I to fire
My love is like to ice, and I to fire;
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire
But harder grows the more I her entreat!
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat

Is not delayed by her heart-frozen cold;
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold!
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice
And ice, which is congealed with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device!
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.

Rhyme: A B A B; B C B C; C D C D; E E
Shakespearean sonnet with linked rhyme scheme. The quatrains are self-contained. It's not dramatic.
how comes: why
heat: desire
sweat: sudore
augment: increase
melts: scioglie
kindle: increase
device: mezzi
1. First quatrain = comparison between his love and the ice and himself with the fire. He focuses on the woman, the woman's lack of love.
2. Second quatrain = the poet's passion and love
3. Third quatrain = paradox: "fire isn't extinguished by the ice and vice versa, but they keep on growing". He calls it a miracle. Similar to "Let me not the marriage", the poet loves really the woman, even if she doesn't love him.
4. Couplet = epigrammatic conclusion, you can't explain love with scientific rules. Love is stronger than nature.
Lexicon (LESSICO) = connected with the ideas of fire (hot, heart, burn, boiling, flames) and ice (cold, frozen, congeal).
CRESCENDO: these synonyms are arranged according to an increasing list. He wants to give emphasis to this idea.
line 1: "love is like to ice" = simile
line 2: "then that this" = alliteration
line 9: "more miraculous" = alliteration
line 7: "burn…boiling" = alliteration

SONNET LVI = Fair ye be sure, but cruel and unkind

Fair ye be sure, but cruel and unkind,
As is a tiger, that with greediness
Hunts after blood; when he by chance doth find
A feeble beast, doth felly him oppress.
Fair ye be sure, but proud and pitiless,
As is a storm, that all things doth prostrate;
Finding a tree alone all comfortless,
Beasts on it strongly, it to ruinate.
Fair ye be sure, but hard and obstinate,
As is a rock amidst the raging floods;
'Gainst which a ship, of succour desolate,
Doth suffer wreck both of herself and goods.
That ship, that tree, and that same beast, am I
Whom ye do wreck, do ruin, and destroy.

Rhyme: A B A B; B C B C; C D C D; E E
It's a Shakespearean sonnet. Dramatic sonnet. Quatrains are self-contained. Iambic.
It describes a period in which the woman doesn't notice the poet.
feeble: debole
felly: crudelmente
pitiless: spietata
amidst: in mezzo
raging floods: violente inondazioni
succour: soccorso
wreck: naufragio
1. First quatrain: the poet says that his lover is cruel like a tiger with is prey (preda).
2. Second quatrain: he compares his lover to a storm, that beast a tree.
3. Third quatrain: his lover is hard as a rock in floods, against which a ship wrecks.
4. Couplet: there is an epigrammatic conclusion. The poet is destroyed by love.
line 1: "be…but" = alliteration
line 1-5-9; anaphora of "Fair"
line 2: "As is a tiger" = simile
line 2: run on lines
line 4: "feeble…felly" = alliteration
line 5: "proud pitiless" = alliteration
line 6: "As is a storm" = simile
line 10: "As is a rock" = simile

line 13: metaphor "I'm that ship, that tree, that beast"
line 14: "do…do…destroy" = alliteration

SONNET LXVII = Like as a huntsman after weary chase
Like as a huntsman after weary chase,
Seeing the game from him escap'd away,
Sits down to rest him in some shady place,
with panting hounds beguiled of their prey:
So after long pursuit and vain assay,
When I all weary had the chase forsook,
The gentle deer return'd the self-same way,
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brook.
There she beholding me with milder look,
Sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide:
Till I in hand her yet half trembling took,
And with her own goodwill her firmly tied.
Strange thing, me seem'd, to see a beast so wild,
So goodly won, with her own will beguil'd.

Rhyme: A B A B; B C B C; C D C D; E E
Shakespearean sonnet. Linked rhyme scheme. Iambic stress-patterned. Towards the end of the collection.
Weary chase: long hunt
the game: the prey
shady: ombroso
panting: ansimanti
beguiled: ingannati
pursuit: insegnamento
forsook: given up
deer: cerva
self-same way: come back
quench her thirst: soddisfare la sete
brook: river
beholding: looking at
milder: dolce
sought not to fly: she didn't try to escape
goodwill: consenso
1. First quatrain: there is the comparison between love and hunting, the lady is the prey, a deer, and the man the hunter. He is very sad because he is loosing his prey. (All the words are used to create the image of a won hunter)
2. Second quatrain: the deer comes back
3. Third quatrain: KEY WORDS: with her own goodwill, milder look, fearless, gentle. She has changed her attitude.

4. Couplet: the hunter has won his hunting.
"HALF TREMBLING TOOK" (third quatrain)  Ambiguous expression: it can refer to both of them.
The deer is defined "gentle, mild, fearless, wild": contrasting adjectives clearly refers to the woman.

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