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History of Sonnet In English Literature |

Rahul Dhankhar, in Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education | Multidisciplinary Academic Research


A sonnet is a short lyric song ;its sound creates music and makes it a lyrical poem. The form's relativelyshort length (14 lines) and intricate rhyming structure has inspired poets asdiverse as Dante, Shakespeare, Spenser, Rilke, Auden, Dylan Thomas, ElizabethBishop etc. The exact origin of the sonnet is unknown, but, as a form itoriginated in Europe, mainly in Italy probably in the thirteenth century.The Sicilian poet Giacomo da Lentini is credited with itsinvention. The term "sonnet"derives only from the Occitan word sonnet andthe Italian word sonetto,both meaning "little song" or "little sound". By thethirteenth century, Except for the curtail sonnet, it signified a poem offourteen lines that follows a strict rhymescheme and specific structure. Traditionally, most of English poetsemploy iambic pentameter when writing sonnets. the sonnet as a form developed inItaly. Petrarch, in the fourteenth century century with his work"Canzoniere" a sequence of 366 poems, most of which were dedicated toan idealized lover, raised the sonnet to its greatest Italian perfection. Petrarch'swork influence many European writers such as Dante and Boccaccio and eventuallyspread to England influencing Chaucer.