The Power of Love in Sonnets by Petrarch Surrey and Wyatt

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The Power of Love in Sonnets by Petrarch, Surrey and Wyatt

Francesco Petrarch, Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey were three of the greatest poets in history. They were truly visionaries in their work and with their origination of the sonnet, they crafted poems of love in all its incredible forms. With these poets, we are able to see how the sonnet evolved into the form popularized by Shakespeare and even how it still influences the modern poetry of today. Petrarch, known as the "Father of Humanism," first wrote the Italian sonnet during the 14th century. Wyatt and Surrey, who lived and were close friends during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII in England, composed respective translations of some of Petrarch 's
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There is no respect or admiration Surrey feels for Love as he is dying and he resents his own powerlessness to be released from Love 's hold: "For my lord 's guilt thus faultless bide I pain, yet from my lord shall not my foot remove: Sweet is the death that taketh end by love." Yet despite his resentment, he remains with Love and in the final two lines of the sonnet, he changes Petrarch 's question into a statement that dying by love is a sweet death. In Wyatt 's translation of Petrarch 's Rima 140, love has no authority over the poet but instead seems to be a visitor, who has only been allowed at the poet 's invitation. His translation is truer to the original than Surrey 's translation of the sonnet, except there is no image of the conquering knight. In the first stanza, he writes: "The long love that in my thought doth harbor, and in mine heart doth keep his residence, into my face presseth with bold pretense and therein campeth, spreading his banner." Wyatt shelters Love in his thought and allows it to stay temporarily in his heart, but the poet remains in control. For Wyatt, Love does not "live" or "reign" nor is

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