603-102-MQ, Chaos in Fourteen Lines: The Sonnet
This course will examine the long history and tradition of the sonnet, from its origins in thirteenth century Italy through to its present-day manifestations. A poetic form both revered and reviled, the sonnet has been called the most traditional and the most experimental of forms. It is a closed form with strict prescriptions on its length, its meter, and its development; yet these prescriptions have constantly led poets to break with convention and make changes to suit their topics or tastes. Through a close analysis of the sonnetís forms and themes over the last nine centuries, students will begin to recognize both the traditional characteristics and the breaks in convention that make the sonnet such a compelling poetic form, one that Dante Gabriel Rossetti described as ďa momentís monument Ö a coin [whose] face reveals / The soul.Ē