Petrarch and Wyatt Compared Essay

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In the world of poetry, imitation occurs at every turn. Many poets will take an original form of poetry and copy the style. This can be said about Sir Thomas Wyatt who attempts to mimic Petrarch's form; when the symbols, tone, images, rhyme, and setting in Wyatt's poem "Whoso list to hunt" are compared to Petrarch's Rime 190 it becomes apparent that he failed to embody the essence of Petrarch in his writing. Symbolism plays a large role in most poems. "A pure-white doe in an emerald glade/Appeared to me, with two antlers of gold" (Petrarch lines 1-2) is a perfect example of symbolism is poetry. Petrarch is not actually talking about a white deer with golden antlers, he's talking about a beautiful woman with golden hair. Wyatt also uses …show more content…
"Una candida cerva l'erba/Verde m'apparve, con duo corna d'oro/Fra due riviere, all'ombra d'un alloro,/Levando 'l sole, a la stagione ascerba" (Petrarch line 1-4) this Italian passage from the poem follows the abba format of rhyming with perfect rhymes which his whole poem follows without using a single eye-rhyme. The setting of Petrarch's Rime 190 is beautifully described in the very first stanza: "A snow white doe in an emerald glade/To me appeared, with antlers soft of gold,/And leapt two streams, under a laurel's shade,/Near sunrise, in the winter's bitter cold." (Petrarch lines 1-4). The reader automatically knows that the poem takes place in a forest with two streams. On the other hand, Wyatt's poem has no setting to show for. There are almost no descriptive aspects of his poem. After analyzing these five aspects of poetry, it becomes clear that Wyatt's imitation of Petrarch only goes so deep. Wyatt merely used Petrarch's ideas but failed to perfect Petrarch's unique and beautiful language; where Petrarch shows beauty, Wyatt shows nothing. Wyatt took a pure form and warped it into something not as good as the