Amoretti Sonnet 75 One day I wrote her name upon the strand Edmund Spenser 1595

This sonnet, like the previous one in Amoretti, addresses the courtship between Edmund Spenser and Elizabeth Boyle. The rhyme scheme follows the linked quatrain pattern of the Spenserian sonnet, and themat-ically it plays with the familiar conceit of immortality.

The speaker begins the octave by setting a scene at the beach one day, when he writes his beloved's name in the sand; however, as is to be expected, the waves come in and wash the name away. So once again, he writes the name upon the sand, and once again, the waves come in and wash it away. The beloved chastises him for his vanity that would allow him vainly to attempt to immortalize in this manner someone such as she, who is mortal, and who eventually will be wiped out of all memory, just as her name has been erased from the beach. In the sestet, however, the speaker protests the beloved's self-deprecating assessment of the situation, claiming that she shall live forever because his verses will make her name famous, and her virtues will make her eternal. Their love will live on to be renewed in the afterlife when death has subdued their world.

See also Amoretti (overview).

Peggy J. Huey

Amoretti: Sonnet 79 ("Men call you fayre, and you doe credit it") Edmund Spenser (1595) Another of the sonnets from Amoretti detailing the second year of the courtship between Edmund Spenser and Elizabeth Boyle, this poem follows the standard Spenserian sonnet form. The critical consensus is that this poem blends christian and Neoplatonic terms to express the poet's vision of the force and meaning of love.

The octave begins with the speaker observing that men have told his beloved that she is fair, and she believes them because she can look in the mirror and see her beauty. However, the truly fair person has a gentle wit and a virtuous mind, two qualities that are much more deserving of this poet's praise. others may be fair now, but time will change that as they lose those looks; the only thing that is permanent is that which outlasts the flesh, which is revealed in the sestet. True beauty is divine, coming from heaven, from the "fayre Spirit" (l. 11) that is the source of perfection. Beauty is within; everything else fades with time just as flowers fade.

See also Amoretti (overview).

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Responses

  • dale
    What is the situation in amoretti 75?
    5 years ago
  • taina
    What is the name of the beloved of spencer of the poem one day i wrote her name?
    7 months ago

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