Analysis of Sonnets example

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Analysis of Sonnets

The two sonnets under analysis are “What My Lips Have Kissed and Where and Why” by Edna St. Vincent Millay and “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. What unites these two sonnets is the common general theme of the process of maturation, which both of the speakers have experienced, and how their perceptions have changed afterwards. I think, another theme touched by both authors in these sonnets is the transience of time. Another connection established between these two poems is that they are both sonnets, but not traditional ones in terms of their themes.

Both poems have classical structure of sonnet with 16 lines constituting them. “What My Lips Have Kissed and Where and When” was written with the rhyme scheme “A – B – B – A – A – B – B – A – C – D – E – D – C – E” in traditional for the genre of sonnets iambic pentameter (St Vincent Millay). On the other hand, what makes “Those Winter Sundays” special is that it was written without any rhyme scheme (Hayden). This sonnet was written in a conventional sonnet structure but without any regular meter, which makes it at some point revolutionary. On the contrary, Millay’s sonnet is a representative of classical Italian sonnet in its construction.

Speaking about the moods reflected in both sonnets, it should be noted that it is established through the usage of certain elements in the poem such as theme, tone, and setting. As to the theme, both sonnets deal with the theme of maturation of people. The speakers in these sonnets have lived long lives and with time passing they started to look at certain things they were concerned with differently. Maturation does not necessarily mean becoming an adult after childhood though. It is more complex and sophisticated term, which comprehends the whole process of personal development during life time. However, the aspects of the maturation reflected in the sonnets are different. In “What My Lips Have Kissed and Where and Why” the speaker is reflecting on her personal life, her past lovers, the love she has experienced and how her understanding of love changed (St Vincent Millay). The issue touched in “Those Winter Sundays” concerns the perception of a role of father and changes in the perception of him and his actions by his sons when he becomes a grown up or even father too (Hayden).

Another theme touched in these sonnets is the transience of time. In Millay’s sonnet the speaker understands that her life has already passed and she is not able to take anything she could not hold with her in past back. Instead, she finds herself a lonely woman, although she did love as well as was loved in the past 9 St Vincent Millay). In Hayden’s sonnet his speaker is somehow regretting being ignorant about his father in the past, which he does understand now, but anyway it is too late: the time has passed (Hayden).

The tone of …

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