The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

11 Mar 2009

“I find no peace”

The text that we - students of “Literatura Inglesa-1” - have had to comment for the second exam in last February exam has been one of Wyatts’s sonnets.
Wyatt, along with Surrey, was the first to introduce the sonnet into English. He wrote extraordinarily accomplished imitations of Petrarch's sonnets, including “Whoso List to Hunt” and the one we had to identify and comment at the exam: “I find no peace”'.
Although I was not able to remember the author’s name at the exam, I think that it is a lovely and moving poem that deserves to be copied here for the pleasure of all the blog’s readers.

I find no peace, and all my war is done ;
I fear and hope, I burn, and freeze like ice ;
I fly aloft, yet can I not arise ;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on,
That locks nor loseth, holdeth me in prison,
And holds me not, yet can I scape no wise :
Nor lets me live, nor die, at my devise,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eye I see ; without tongue I plain :
I wish to perish, yet I ask for health ;
I love another, and thus I hate myself ;
I feed me in sorrow, and laugh in all my pain.
Lo, thus displeaseth me both death and life,
And my delight is causer of this strife

It wasn't until 1557, 15 years after Wyatt's death, that a number of his poetry appeared alongside the poetry of Surrey in printer Richard Tottel’s anthology, generally known as Tottel's Miscellany. The rest of Wyatt's poetry, lyrics, and satires remained in manuscript until the 19th and 20th centuries "rediscovered" them. Wyatt and Surrey often share the title "father of the English sonnet."

1 comment:

  1. This one reminds me a lot of Lope de Vega:

    Ir y quedarse, y con quedar partirse,
    partir sin alma, y ir con alma ajena,
    oír la dulce voz de una sirena
    y no poder del árbol desasirse;

    arder como la vela y consumirse,
    haciendo torres sobre tierna arena;
    caer de un cielo, y ser demonio en pena,
    y de serlo jamás arrepentirse;

    hablar entre las mudas soledades,
    pedir prestada sobre fe paciencia,
    y lo que es temporal llamar eterno;

    creer sospechas y negar verdades,
    es lo que llaman en el mundo ausencia,
    fuego en el alma, y en la vida infierno.