I need help with "On the Sonnet" 1819

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I need help with "On the Sonnet" 1819

Postby maybemeg » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:17 pm


I am working on analyzing Keats's "On the Sonnet". I am having a little trouble with the rhyme scheme. It doesn't seem to fit the standard Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet.

"If by dull rhymes our English mush be chained,
And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fettered, in spite of pained loveliness;
Let us find out, if we must be constrained,
Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gained
By ear industrious, and attention meet;
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
Jealous of dead leaves in the bay-wreath crown;
So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
She will be bound with garlands of her own".

Thanks for any help you can give!
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Postby Papillon » Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:28 pm


You're right--"On the Sonnet" is neither a Shakespearean nor a Petrarchan sonnet. My thought on this is that the form is following the theme of the poem. If you read WHAT Keats is saying about the sonnet form (and poetry in general), you might have an "ah-ha" moment and figure out WHY Keats chooses to avoid the structured sonnet form in this particular poem (at least in terms of rhyme scheme).
"The true voyage of discovery lies not in discovering new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~ Marcel Proust
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