Effects of Exercise on Breathing Rate

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Effects of Exercise on Breathing Rate

Explain what you have discovered about the sonnet form from your
reading of three of the following poems: 'After Death', 'Youth Gone,
Beauty Gone', 'Two Pursuits', 'Endurance' and 'Remember'- Do you think
the content of these poems is well suited to the sonnet from?

The three poems I have chosen are 'After Death', 'Youth Gone, Beauty
Gone' and 'Remember'. I have chosen 'After Death' and 'Remember'
because they give very different, unstereotypical ideas about death,
and 'Youth Gone, Beauty Gone' ties in with these because it is
referring to growing old. Reading and examining these poems I have
discovered that a sonnet has a very definite structure, which is
emphasised by a particular rhyme scheme. Sonnets also have a
distinctive rhythm. All three sonnets have the same style of language
and imagery, and use of a personal voice.

There is a very set structure to a sonnet; each sonnet is fourteen
lines long, and has only one stanza. These sonnets are written in the
Petrachan sonnet from, which means that within the one one stanza, the
sonnet is divided into two sections: the first eight lines are called
an octave, the final six lines are called a sestet. These divisions
can be clearly shown by the rhyme scheme. In the octave, the rhyme
scheme is ABBA ABBA, and then in the sestet, two lines of CD and E are
used in any variation, except that there cannot be a rhyming couplet
to finish the sonnet. For example, the rhyme scheme of 'After Death'
is ABBA ABBA, CDEEDCand in 'Remember', the rhyme scheme is ABBA ABBA,

By using As and Bs in the first section and Cs, Ds and Es in the
second, the progression to the second section is very clear, which is
also shown in the content. Though there is generally only one idea
that is being explored in a sonnet, there is a definite distinction
between the two sections of the sonnet by the development of the idea.
In the first section, the idea is introduced to us and in the second

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"Effects of Exercise on Breathing Rate." 123HelpMe.com. 25 May 2018
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section, the idea is elaborated on and explored more fully. The change
is complimented by the rhyme scheme, for example, in 'Remember':

"Remember me when I am gone away -line 1

…Remember me when no more day by day -line 5

…Only remember me… -line 7

…Yet if you should forget for a while -line 9

…do not grieve -line 10

…Better by far you should forget and smile -line 13

…Than that you should remember and be sad." -line 14

The person is asking her loved one to remember her in the octave,
presumably when she is dead, but then in the sestet, this is
developed. She only wants to be remembered if the memory brings joy,
for if it only brings sadness then it would be better if she were
forgotten even though she would like to be remembered.

There is, however, an exception to this rhyme scheme rule in 'Youth
Gone, Beauty Gone', where the rhyme scheme is ABBA ACAC, DCEECD. This,
however, is another example of how the rhyme scheme compliments the
structure and content of the sonnet. 'Youth Gone, Beauty Gone' is
about growing old. The woman 'narrating' feels that she has lost
everything now that she is no longer young and beautiful and that she
cannot love again. There is no real second section in this poem, just
a progression of thought about growing old, which is shown in the
rhyme scheme by the integration of the As and Cs. There is a much more
gradual change of rhyme scheme fitting the gradual progression of idea
in this sonnet.

All poems are said with a certain type of rhythm, and sonnets are no
exception. In each poem, each line is ten syllables except for one,
which is eleven syllables. Not all punctuation marks are at the end of
lines, but there are many lines with pauses in the middle of the line
rather than the end so some lines flow straight on to the next without
a pause.

"The curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept

And strewn with rushes, rosemary and may

Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay,"

This enjambement makes the saying aloud of these poems more
conversational. It is more akin to natural speech, where the saying of
the syllables is stressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed. This is
called iambic pentameter, which can be found in all three of the
sonnets. This rhythm, as stated earlier, gives the sonnet quite a
conversational tone, which emphasises the personal feeling of the
sonnets. They are all the personal thoughts and reflections of the
poet, and so the natural rhythm fits very well with the natural and
simple nature of the poem.

I have also looked at the language and imagery used in the three
sonnets. The language of each is simple and economical by necessity of
the structure of only fourteen lines, and the rhythm of only ten
syllables per line.

"The curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept

And strewn with rushes, rosemary and may

Lay thick up the bed on which I lay,"

Within these three lines, Rossetti has succinctly described the
setting of the poem, yet has captured such details that conjure up a
full and complete picture of a room where a person might lie dead.

The economical language is then augmented by the imagery, which is
much more complex, and which we have to extrapolate to understand the
full meaning of a line.

"…He did or touch the shroud, or raise the fold

That hid my face, or take my hand in his,

Or ruffle the smooth pillows for my head."

We can see that from the few small actions, which did not take place,
that this man (lover or father, it is not definitely determined) did
not have a great love for the dead woman. He does not perform the
little actions that would have shown his love for her.

Another example from 'Youth Gone, Beauty Gone':

"…Youth gone and beauty gone, what doth remain?

The longing of a heart pent up all forlorn

…while youth and beauty made a summer morn,

Silence of love that cannot sing again."

'Youth and Beauty made a summer morn'; summer is the time of the year
when life is in full bloom and the morning is the time when one is
just beginning one's day, and there are many possibilities. Rossetti
is saying that youth and beauty are the best things of life, and now
that they are gone 'what doth remain?' She answers: all that is left
is a troubled and saddened heart and love that cannot be expressed
again, so what doth remain? There is nothing to live for. In all of
the sonnets there is much nuance that needs to be interpreted to
understand the full meaning of the sonnets.

"…He did not love me for living; but once dead

He pitied me; and very sweet it is

To know that he is warm though I am cold."

These lines reveal the fully unconditional love the woman had for the
man in this poem, even though the poem tells us he does not love her.
The only feeling he has for her is pity, now that she is dead, and for
even this tiny piece of emotion she is grateful: "and very sweet it
is". She is pathetically grateful to know that he has some semblance
of emotional warmth for her. Even if it is pity now that she herself
is cold and dead, which truly shows the strong regard she had for him.

Finally, in all the sonnets there is always a personal voice, 'I'.

"Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay"

"I will not bind fresh roses in my hair"

"Remember me when I am gone away"

The use of 'I' makes each sonnet feel so much more personal and it
makes it much easier for the reader to be drawn in to identify with
the 'narrator' and to understand what the poem is about.

I do think the content of these poems suits the sonnet form. Each poem
is very personal and intimate. They are the thoughts and reflections
of the writer on various themes connected to emotions. 'After Death'
is about death, love and unrequited love, 'Remember' also has the
similar theme of love and death, but this time it is very accepting
and the love is such that the woman who dies wishes her lover not even
to remember her if it makes him unhappy. 'Youth Gone, Beauty Gone' is
the author's reflections on having grown old and how she feels there
is nothing left for her to live for. These poems all incorporate the
ideas of love and, either death or growing old. Reflection and thought
on these ideas are developed in the sonnet. It is the perfect form for
this style of writing for it is brief and structured. The single ideas
would not be suited to a long drawn out narrative poem or a ballad. I
think therefore that the content of these poems suits very well the
sonnet form because they are little thoughts and personal reflections
of the author, which can be explored, in just the right amount in the
sonnet form.

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