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     Sonnet Composition or Convolution    





    Sonnet Composition: craft a “companion sonnet” that answers, echoes, parodies, or in some way responds

    to the sonnet you have chosen. You should:
    Compose the sonnet, with careful choices about form (rhyme scheme? octave and sestet vs. quatrains and couplet? where do you put the volta? meter?) as well as content.
    Write a brief reflection of one full page (double-spaced) that reflects on the process of composing the sonnet and what you learned from this work—as well as any other elements of your work that you wish to note.







Subject Literature Pages 3 Style APA


Sonnet Composition/Convolution

Philip Sidney- Astrophil and Stella (Sonnet 28)

(Companion sonnet)

We that with allegory’s curious frame,

Of every child changeling use to make,

We desire not to take such pain for God’s sake:

We prefer not digging any deeper just for fame.

If you said “Stella”, and never remained the same

Beauty loving Prince, never for your sake

Can anyone ever love love reins, wanting to slake,

And remain joyous, avoiding shameful counting among nations

We eloquently subject ourselves to useless begging,

Philosophical guidance in every way seeking:

To make the work of our hands quintessential;

Knowing purity in every simple way practical

Breathing flames and burning evil hearts within and without

Artistically reading and loving even in drought


We who like using children to make changelings for others

(Poems) that curiously employ structural allegory,

Do not let us love in vain for God’s sake.

We prefer not wishing and digging any deeper just for fame.

If you said, “Stella”, and never remained the same

Beauty loving Prince, never for your sake

Can anyone love love reins, though slackening they may never fake,

In their own joy, though nationally counted and ashamed.

Eloquence and good order in all subjects we do not like asking

Calmly in hidden philosophical ways leading and seeking

Knowing purity in every simple way practical

Breathing flames and burning our hearts in bold love

Artistically teaching lonely hearts to love




I must admit that while this exercise has been enjoyable, it was quite challenging.  Rearranging the words and mixing them up proved problematic as in most instances, the resulting sentences made no sense and that only called for creativity and further restructuring. Interestingly, I do not think I had any specific theme in mind as I wrote the companion sonnet and even if I had one, I would not have had the freedom to express it freely since my words and structure were limited to the parent sonnet (Astrophil and Stella-Sonnet 28). I just ‘blindly’ wrote the sonnet to the end, remotely aware that it revolved around the concept of love but not knowing what I was communicating in particular. Nevertheless, I was satisfied that the piece was a good and innovative imitation of Philip Sidney’s work. Importantly, I think the resulting sonnet carries its own poetic voice that by and large does not seem to be influenced by any authoritative model. It may deviate from the original courtly love poetry of Philip Sidney but I guess that is the idea of convolution in this case. It is also imperative to take note of the prose-like composition, which I must say was one of the most difficult qualities to achieve because I was keen to ensure whatever I wrote made some sense. In a way, I felt the requirement to stick to the words of the original sonnet restricted me a great deal and limited my creativity to word restructuring, when I am sure I would have done better to think ‘outside the box’ and incorporate my own ideas. Nevertheless, this exercise has offered great insight into the poetical methods of Philip Sidney and other poets in the same caliber.



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