Essay on Sir Thomas Wyatt 's Poetry

Essay on Sir Thomas Wyatt 's Poetry

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Sir Thomas Wyatt is credited as one of the first poets to bring the sonnet form into English literature, a form in which the speaker’s sincerity for, most commonly, a distant mysterious woman whom he loves, is believed to be the focal point of the poetry. From the selection of works which Wyatt wrote we can see many point in which the focal point is seemingly the earnestness of his love for his muse as authenticated by what he states in the poem itself. However, there is a sense of underlying meaning throughout his works which the reader must tease out themselves to see that that in fact is the focal point of his poetry.
In many ways Wyatt’s poetry can be considered sincere as what is stated in the poem is genuine, however, it does so in a way we do not expect of a sonnet. Wyatt’s work rather than portraying the sincerity of his love for his unrequited love as other sonnet do, he subverts the sonnet form and uses himself and his desolation at being unable to acquire the love of his muse. For example in the sonnet ‘Whoso List to Hunt’ he is sincere about his own misfortunes in love whilst side-lining the woman who brings them about. We can see these genuine feeling brought out by the poem as Wyatt clearly states in the poem that he ‘may no more’ pursue the object of his affections as she is claimed by another using the analogy her being one of Caesar’s deer and is therefore untouchable. The sincerity felt in the poem is clearly displayed as the poem is approached in a defeatist manner, seen in the way he issues the challenge of a ‘hunt’, but immediately undercuts himself in the second as he has already lost. This defeated tone prevalent throughout the poem allows for the narrator’s sincerity as he clearly states that he can never h...


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...s the fact that the ‘she’ in the poem is set aside as he questions the idea of ‘life ending faithfully’. In this way we could say that Wyatt, in this poem at least, is not having the reader focus on his sincerity, rather, he is having the reader use what is stated to focus on the meaning, the questioning, behind the outside of the poem and see his introspective speculation on the supposed love he has for this woman.
In conclusion, Wyatt in many ways can been seen to focus his work around the sincerity of the emotion displayed in his poems, as we can see in the poems ‘Whoso List to Hunt’ and ‘The long love that in my thought doth harbor’ but the sincerity is not given in the way we expect. The sincerity that we find in the poem lies within his introspective view of his own emotion and through cunningly disguised warnings rather than simple overt declarations of love.

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