Also referred to as the Italian Sonnet
, the Petrarchan sonnet
received its namesake
as a tribute
to the Italian poet Petrarch
, who created the structure
for it. The Petrarchan Sonnet
is fourteen lines long, consists of an octave
and a sestet
, and is written in iambic pentameter
. Here is an example:
Whoso List to Hunt
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas, I may no more:
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore.
I am of them that farthest cometh behind;
Yet may I, by no means, my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore,
Fainting I follow, I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I, may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about,
"Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem to tame."
The first eight lines create an octave, with the rhyme scheme a b b a a b b a. The last six lines make up a sestet and may consist be one of two rhyme schemes: 1) c d d c e e or 2) c d e c d e.
As one may notice by now, the Petrarchan Sonnet consists of many rhymed lines, more than any other sonnet. This is much easier to accomplish in Italian, a language more rich in rhyming words than English.