William Wordsworth's Nuns Fret Not Essay

William Wordsworth's Nuns Fret Not Essay

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I before e except after c, avoid omitting serial commas, and never EVER let a participle dangle. Those who choose to write are perhaps too familiar with these specific rules. Some are tedious, some are almost impossible to remember, yet all help the author to create lucid writing so her point may be established. For poetry, the case is no different. There are various forms to choose from, versatile meters to pace the reader, and the ability to layer information to gradually make a point. Some forms can be generous in what they allow the author to do, and in William Wordsworth’s “Nuns Fret Not” the author admits that forms can be restricting in meter, rhyme, and length. That does not mean however that he’s immobile, Wordsworth is able to fine-tune the rules and by doing so, demonstrates his main statement: Limits don’t necessarily need to be viewed in a negative light; if used correctly, limits can be both challenging and provide comfort instead of misery.
Wordsworth shows the possibility of finding freedom within his poem by choosing to write within the Italian sonnet’s rules. What makes an Italian sonnet unique is the division and pattern of its rhyme scheme. It is usually structured in an ABBA, ABBA, CDE, CDE pattern, and broken into two main parts, the octave (the first eight lines) and the sestet (the final six). The meter of “Nuns” can be labeled as iambic pentameter, yet along with the meter, the poem differs from the norm in two more ways. The first difference is in the rhyme scheme. In a typical Italian sonnet, the sestet follows a CDE, CDE pattern, in “Nuns” however, it follows the pattern CDD, CCD. It’s minute, but adds emphases to the 13th line, which contains the poem’s second anomaly. All the poem’s lines have an ...


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... share this somber mood, “for their needs must be”, to read this poem and see that it’s indeed possible to live within restrictions (line 12). The author’s been able to handle the sonnet’s rules, and on top of that he notes that it isn’t all that bad. The rules add guidance to what he’s able to communicate to the reader, as well as give his language an acuteness that only a sonnet can provide. Without this structure the poem wouldn’t be as adroit, and the solace he’s trying to offer the reader wouldn’t be possible.
By concurring to the Italian sonnet’s rules and exploiting the room he was left to utilize, not only does Wordsworth create a poem that is both coherent and clever, he leaves the reader with a sense of communion, that he isn’t alone in the world. A brief moment of solace is sometimes all one asks for, and “Nuns Fret Not” has shown us how it’s obtained.

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