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Poetry/Cannot identify the type of the sonnet


Hello, Linda!

I am trying to identify the type of this sonnet(for my university course), it is either Shakespearian or Petrarchan sonnet. Here it is:

The sonnet is a diamond flashing round
From every facet true rare coloured lights;
A gem of thought carved in poetic nights
To grace the brow of art by fancy crowned;
A miniature of soul wherein are found
Marvels of beauty and resplendent sights;
A drop of blood with which a lover writes
His heart's sad epitaph in its own bound;
A pearl gained from dark waters when the deep
Rocked in its frenzied passion; the last note
Heard from a heaven-saluting skylark's throat;
A cascade small flung in a canyon steep
With crystal music. At this shrine of song
High priests of poesy have worshipped long.
(by Edward Burrough Brownlow)

I have a form like this: abba abba cddc ee
At first it looks like a Petrarchan sonnet because of the form of the octave abba abba, but at the end of the sonnet it has ee... I can't manage. Please, I need your help.

Thanks in advance!
Best regards from Moscow.

Dear Olga,

The Brownlow sonnet is a Shakespearean sonnet.  However, it does deviate from the traditional  Shakespearean sonnet by changing the rime scheme in the first two quatrains from abab cdcd to abba abba and then replacing the third quatrain efef with cddc.  It then concludes with the couplet ee.

The Petrarchan sonnet has an octave and a sestet and moving from the octave to the sestet there is a volta or turn, or change in purpose.  The octave sets up a proposition and the sestet resolves it.  Brownlow's sonnet does not contain a volta; its three quatrains are all devoted to describing the sonnet, and the couplet provides the summation.

It is only part of the rime scheme that resembles the Petrarchan sonnet.  At first, it might seem that the first two quatrains are an octave and the third quatrain and the couplet are the sestet.  But the absence of the volta eliminates its classification as Petrarchan.  The movements of the poem place it squarely in the Shakespearean style.

Hope this helps.


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