Friday, December 17, 2010

Lyrical Love Poems of the Renaissance

Sonnets are poems comprised of fourteen lines. An essential part of a sonnet is the rhyme scheme, which can flow like song lyrics. Many poets from the Renaissance era created a lyrical flow from their sonnets to express their thoughts about love, or to idolize their love of a woman with the use of blazons.

Thomas Campion's poem, "There is a garden in her face" compares a woman's face to a garden. The narrator of the poem describes the aspects of the woman's face to coincide with different parts of a garden. For example, the line "Those cherries fairly do enclose/ Of orient pearl a double row," refers to the woman's mouth (Greenblatt et al, 2006, p. 1230). Her mouth serves as the cherries that house her pearly teeth. To make sure that the reader understands that the woman is of fair repute, the narrator says of her mouth, "There cherries grow, which none may buy/ Till 'Cherry ripe!' themselves do cry," (Greenblatt et al, 2006, p. 1230). Although the woman has a delectable cherry mouth, she is not willing to let just anyone taste them. Other parts of her face guard her honor, like "Her eyes like angels watch them still;/ Her brows like bended bows do stand," (Greenblatt et al, 2006, p. 1230).

Other poets like Sidney, Shakespeare, and Spenser during the Renaissance era appeared to be preoccupied with the idea of love, or the idea of being in love with someone. Women were often compared with facets of nature, such as flowers. Women in the Elizabethan era must have been thought of as beautiful, dainty, and fragile if they were always being compared to flowers. In contemporary society, comparable lyrics from love songs are also preoccupied with love. However, instead of honoring love, modern lyrics lament love. The sad love song is more common and interesting than an uplifting love song.

Greenblatt, et al. [Eds]. (2006). The norton anthology english literature (8th ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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